Federal judge dismisses Idaho's sage grouse lawsuit

Posted at 1:12 PM, Jan 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-06 15:12:22-05

A judge has rejected Idaho Governor "Butch" Otter's lawsuit contending the Obama administration acted illegally by imposing federal land-use restrictions intended to protect the sage grouse in Idaho and southwestern Montana.

In dismissing the lawsuit Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan didn't rule on the merits of the claims, but said Otter lacked standing because Idaho didn't prove it had been injured.

Because Otter lacked standing, the court says it doesn't have jurisdiction and dismissed the lawsuit.

Otter filed the lawsuit in September, 2015, after federal officials opted not to list sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act, but announced federal land-use restrictions.

The court says Otter’s arguments that state sovereignty is being injured are “unpersuasive.”

Otter's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

(by Associated Press)