Feds Release New Proposals for Sage Grouse

By Beacon Staff

BOISE — Federal officials have released draft management proposals for protecting sage grouse habitat in Idaho and southwestern Montana.

The Idaho Statesman reports (http://bit.ly/19qXGY8) that one of the two preferred alternatives released Friday includes Idaho’s plan developed from the Sage Grouse Task Force created by Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

The proposals cover about 9.3 million acres of Bureau of Land Management land and 1.9 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land. The public has 90 days to comment.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency is under court mandate to determine by 2015 if sage grouse deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Proposals were also released Friday in other states. The plans cover three full Western states — Utah, Nevada and Idaho — and slivers of three others: Wyoming, California and Montana.