Idaho Sage-grouse Task Force
Saturday, December 7, 2013
On March 9, 2012, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter promulgated Executive Order 2012-02 [PDF, 341 kb] establishing a 15-member Sage-Grouse Task Force. The purpose of the Task Force is to provide Governor Otter with recommendations by June 1, 2012, to ensure the species' long-term viability in Idaho and to prevent the need for the federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Task Force recommendations will be aimed at facilitating short- and long-term solutions to the primary and secondary threats to the species and its habitat, all in an effort to avoid the serious and economically damaging impacts an ESA listing would create as Idaho continues to emerge from the national recession. The promulgation of this executive order is an effort to elevate the issue, ensuring swift response to the problem by tasking a wide variety of impacted and interested stakeholders.
Governor Otter submitted the State’s alternative [PDF, 1 MB] to BLM for inclusion in a BLM EIS. The BLM EIS will analyze alternatives for revising land-use plans (LUPs) for lands that include sage-grouse habitat to incorporate consistent objectives and conservation measures by September 2014 in an effort to preclude the need to list the greater sage-grouse under the ESA.
The Task Force recommendations were submitted to the Governor on June 15 and were aimed at facilitating short- and long-term solutions to the primary and secondary threats to the species and its habitat in Idaho. Task Force recommendations will become part of a larger state plan that will be available for public comment in late June. Submission of the final plan to the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture will follow the public review and comment process and is targeted for mid-July.