Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Idaho fights proposed plant listing

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is again proposing to list a plant found only in southwestern Idaho as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. And the state of Idaho is continuing to fight a federal listing. Idaho ranchers say listing slickspot peppergrass as a threatened species could cause significant harm to many ranchers in southwestern Idaho because grazing could be restricted in areas where the plant's habitat is found. "It will put some cattle ranchers out of business," said Lt. Gov. Brad Little, a rancher. Just the possibility of an ESA listing is already having an impact. Little gave back Bureau of Land Management grazing allotments he had on the edge of the plant's habitat "because I didn't want to be anywhere around it." He also fenced off private land he owns for the same reason. Chief U.S. Magistrate Candy Dale ruled in 2012 that the USFWS erred when it listed the plant as a threatened species in 2009. Dale agreed with the state of Idaho that the agency didn't properly define when in the foreseeable future the plant was likely to become threatened...more

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