Idaho Governor Sues Feds Over Sage Grouse Restrictions
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he's suing the federal government for failing to provide a transparent process in setting new public land-use restrictions designed to protect sage grouse habitat.
Otter made the announcement Friday, contending that the federal government has wrongly ignored Idaho's own efforts to prevent the bird from being listed as an endangered species. The Interior Department said Tuesday it decided to deny protections for the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
The same day, the agency released final changes to federal land-use plans in 11 Western states designed to protect the bird's habitat. According to the complaint, the Idaho Legislature is joining Otter as a plaintiff. In Idaho, about 10.5 million acres are designated as either core or important sage grouse habitat.