Interior Secretary Tours Southern Magic Valley
ROGERSON, Idaho (AP) — The secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior says the challenges in keeping sage grouse off the endangered species list are complex but not unsolvable.
Sally Jewell on Tuesday toured some of Idaho's best sage grouse habitat in the south-central part of the state, hearing from biologists, land managers and ranchers on efforts being made to preserve areas for the chicken-sized bird. Both of Idaho's two Republican U.S. Senators, Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, met her in the tiny town of Rogerson at the start of the tour.
Experts told Jewell that wildfire, habitat loss due to development and invasive species are the main threats to sage grouse. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is under court order to decide next year whether the bird should receive federal protection.