Washington, D.C. (KIFI) – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson and Senator Jim Risch this week led their colleagues in a bicameral letter to Senate and House leadership urging the continued Endangered Species Act (ESA) greater sage-grouse listing prohibition be maintained in a potential end-of-year spending package.
“I have not fought this long and hard to prohibit a sage-grouse listing only for those efforts to be thwarted in a potential end-of-year spending package,” Congressman Simpson said. “An ESA listing for the sage-grouse would close off thousands of acres of land across the West to recreation, grazing, and other activities and would undermine the collaborative work being done to manage sage-grouse habitats at a local level by the individuals who work, live, and recreate on Idaho’s land. Sage-grouse conservation remains a priority for Idaho and other western states, and I will continue to fight for local-decision making on this important issue.”
“Idaho and other western states with sage-grouse habitat led the development of wildlife conservation plans that were locally driven, collaborative, and scientific. But time and again, these good-faith conservation efforts have been held hostage by cyclical litigation and management changes that hurt rural communities and sage-grouse alike. The ESA listing prohibition and local conservation efforts have strengthened and preserved sage-grouse habitats since 2015, and this work should be preserved,” Senator Risch said.
The letter, also signed by Senator Mike Crapo and Congressman Russ Fulcher, notes the long-standing provision of sage-grouse listing prohibition in spending bills and the disruptive nature of continual litigation on state and local communities’ effective and collaborative sage-grouse conservation plans.
You can read the full letter and list of signers.