Idaho Releases Plan To Keep Sage Grouse Off The Endangered Species List

Nov 1, 2013

The greater sage grouse weights between 2 and 5 pounds and has an average lifespan of 1.5 years. They live at high elevations and can't survive without sagebrush.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

After a two year wait, Idaho has released its proposed plan to manage the greater sage grouse. The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service have been working on the plan with help from Idaho’s Fish and Game Department and the governor’s office.

If the plan is approved the sage grouse will stay off the endangered species list. Jessica Gardetto with the BLM says if the bird is listed land use becomes complicated.

"The best thing that we can do is provide conservation for sage grouse so that we can conserve this species and provide for multiple use on our public lands," Gardetto says. "A lot of uses are at stake here; recreation, oil and gas development."

Ranching is another industry that doesn’t want to see the sage grouse land on the endangered species list. The plan will now be subject to a 90 day public comment period before the BLM and Forest Service begin their final version of the proposal.