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Days After Non-ESA Listing of Sage Grouse, Idaho Sues Feds Over Conservation Plan


  • National Audobon Society
  • Greater Sage Grouse

Days after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced
 endangered species protections weren't necessary for the greater sage grouse because feds were satisfied with a multi-state conservation strategy, the state of Idaho announced Friday it was moving forward with a lawsuit against the federal government over that same conservation plan that placed some land-use restrictions on greater sage grouse habitat in Idaho and other Western states.

“We didn’t want an ESA listing, but in many ways these administrative rules are worse. This complaint is an unfortunate but necessary step to protect the rights of Idaho citizens to participate in public land decisions that will impact their communities, their economy and their lives,” said Otter.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little wasted no time weighing in, saying, Washington bureaucrats went behind our backs and came up with their own plan that did not involve local input. All that we have done has been ignored."

Earlier this summer, Otter openly criticized U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, saying, "the federal government's initially transparent and collaborative process has been replaced by closed-door meetings and internal memoranda. The feds are asking us to trust them. It's not that simple and unfortunately this is far from over."

Sage grouse once numbered in the millions across the West. That number is now down to several hundred thousand.