Idaho governor, GOP leaders ask to join sage grouse suit

Posted: 12:57 PM, Sep 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-03 18:57:07Z

An Idaho ranch's attempt to block U.S. efforts to protect the greater sage grouse has attracted the support of Idaho Governor "Butch" Otter and other top state Republicans.

Otter, House Speaker Scott Bedke, and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill asked a federal judge last month for permission to intervene in a lawsuit targeting the federal government's regulation of sage grouse habitat.

The lawsuit was filed in April by Oakley-based brothers Douglas, Don, and David Pickett, who own Tugaw ranch. They are being represented by conservative law firm Pacific Legal Foundation.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, along with other top federal officials, are named as defendants in the suit.

The lawsuit alleges the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service failed to submit the rules to Congress for review.

(by Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press)