Four environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Trump Administration’s rollback of protections for an imperiled species.
David Bernhardt, the Acting Interior Secretary, isn’t officially confirmed in the position. He was nominated in February to fill the position after Ryan Zinke resigned. But that’s not stopping advocates from suing Bernhardt in federal court.
“All kinds of actions are now going to be allowed that were previously not allowed," says Laird Lucas with Advocates for the West in Boise. "So we have to act quickly.”
Lucas is leading the lawsuit on behalf of four environmental groups. He says that when Bernhardt approved changes to the management of public lands earlier this month, he was choosing mining and grazing over the protection of sage grouse in Idaho.
“They’re not looking at the actual science.”
Sage grouse are spread out across 11 western states, including Idaho. Though not listed as an endangered species, conservationists are concerned about the iconic birds. Earlier this month, Governor Brad Little applauded the Trump Administration changes, calling it a “balanced decision.”
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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