Idaho Group Wants Reviews Before Grazing Permits Renewed
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A conservation organization is requesting the U.S. Bureau of Land Management conduct environmental reviews before renewing 453 grazing permits that contain areas designated as important sage grouse habitat.
Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project in a letter sent last week to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says the grazing permits expire in eight Western states in March. The letter follows a ruling in U.S. District Court in Boise last month that found the BLM improperly used a congressional grazing rider to renew grazing permits in Idaho without proper environmental reviews.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to make a decision next year on whether sage grouse should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Interior Department spokeswoman Emily Beyer in an email says the agency can't comment on litigation.