Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Idaho mulling options following listing of tiny desert plant

It’s unclear if Idaho’s long-running battle with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over a tiny desert flower will continue. Gov. Butch Otter’s office is weighing its options after the USFWS again listed the slickspot peppergrass as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Otter, a rancher, has fought a listing since 2003, when he was a member of congress and helped develop a state conservation plan aimed at preventing the need for a listing. “I wouldn’t say it’s over. We’re not going to roll over,” Sam Eaton, deputy administrator and legal counsel for the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation, said about the USFWS decision, which took effect Sept. 16. The Governor’s Office is discussing options with affected stakeholders, he said. Idaho‘s livestock industry worries a listing could have a major impact on some ranchers because grazing could be restricted in areas where the plant’s habitat is found...more

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