Idaho's Sage Grouse Lawsuit Dismissed By Federal Judge

Jan 6, 2017

A judge has rejected Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's lawsuit contending the Obama administration acted illegally by imposing federal land-use restrictions intended to protect the sage grouse in Idaho and southwestern Montana.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in dismissing the lawsuit Thursday didn't rule on the merits of the claims but said Otter lacked standing because the state didn't prove it had been injured.

Because Otter lacked standing, the court says it doesn't have jurisdiction and dismissed the lawsuit.

Otter filed the lawsuit in September 2015 after federal officials opted not to list sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act but announced federal land-use restrictions.

The court says Otter's arguments that state sovereignty is being injured are unpersuasive.

Otter's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.