It had always been the custom for settlers to graze their stock on the vacant public lands near the settlement without supervision or restraint, and it naturally followed that when National Forests were created and the areas closed to certain classes of stock and the grazing of all stock restricted, much opposition arose. Prior to 1897, all National Forests were closed to sheep grazing, on the supposition that this class of stock was injurious to the forest cover. This was true to a certain extent, but the damage in most cases was due to the method of handling the stock. In 1897, the forests in Oregon and Washington, and later the other National Forests, were opened to sheep, and since the advent of the regulated use of forage, there has been very little material damage to the forest cover, and the almost depleted ranges are gradually returning to their normal vegetative cover.
Steffen, E. H.
"Grazing Resources and Their Utilization on the Wallowa National Forest,"
Ames Forester: Vol. 4
, Article 13.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/amesforester/vol4/iss1/13