Idaho officials OK implementation of sage grouse

Idaho officials OK implementation of sage grouse
Posted at 5:43 PM, Nov 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-24 19:43:28-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho officials have approved implementing the state's plan to protect habitat for greater sage grouse on endowment lands.

The Idaho Land Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to have the Idaho Department of Lands move forward with actions set out in the state's 82-page Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan the board approved in April.

Implementation was made contingent on federal agencies incorporating Idaho's plan in their final decision regarding a sage grouse Endangered Species Act listing.

Federal officials did include Idaho's plan but added additional restrictions in late September when declaring sage grouse didn't require federal protections.

A few days later, Idaho sued the federal government over those added restrictions.

But Land Board members say it's important that Idaho move forward with its plan so sage grouse aren't eventually listed anyway.