Zinke Set To Change Obama’s Sage Grouse Plan For Idaho And 9 Other States

Sep 29, 2017

Obama’s Interior Department decided not to put the greater sage grouse on the Endangered Species List. In exchange, officials created a plan which restricted ranching, mining and other resource extraction – but not as drastically as a listing decision would have.

But several GOP-controlled states, including Idaho, took issue with the strategy. The Gem State argued that Obama officials ignored state input, and subsequently sued the Interior Department.

Now, President Trump’s Interior Department is set to reverse much of this plan. According to the New York Times, Interior Secretary Zinke is done with his review of the Obama management plan and will publish notice to amend it.

That move has Idaho Governor Butch Otter clapping.

“Secretary Zinke gets it. I applaud him for recognizing what so many from outside the West often don’t: Preserving and protecting species is very important, but so is enabling our people to work and prosper by adding value to our vast natural resources. It will take a lot of work to strike the proper balance on this issue, but I’m looking forward to engaging our partners and bringing these unreasonable federal plans in line with state efforts and priorities.” - Statement from Gov. Otter

But not everyone is cheering. Environmental groups including the Audobon Society and the Center for Biological Diversity say the move will undermine more than a decade of collaborative work.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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