Idaho Delegation Disappointed in Activist Judge Ruling on Sage-Grouse

Idaho Delegation released the following statements after U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill temporarily blocked the Administration’s rule that supports Idaho’s Sage Grouse management plan.

“Decisions about sage grouse habitat should involve sound, peer-reviewed science and consider the collaborative efforts on the ground between federal agencies, state agencies, Idaho habitat recommendations and those living closest to the areas involved,” said Senator Mike Crapo.  “This recent ruling ignores the sound research and work of individuals on the ground.”

“Once again, Idaho’s plan to conserve sage grouse is being threatened by politically-driven litigation. This continuous cycle of rewarding activist environmental groups instead of properly implementing Idaho’s science-based plan only endangers the very species these activist groups claim they are trying to protect,” said Senator James Risch. “Idaho’s conservation plan was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders using the best available science. The plan ensures workability for local communities, and it is this collaborative process that should ultimately prevail.”

“This temporary hold on sage-grouse conservation plans are a disappointment for the collaborative and bipartisan process,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “Keep in mind this is the same judge who forced an arbitrary listing date that was not based on science. Quite frankly, it is frustrating that litigation has upended the efforts of bipartisan governors and hundreds of millions of dollars in conservation funding aimed at improving habitat across the west. Idaho received high marks on their plan from Fish and Wildlife Service under both Democrat and Republican leadership, so I am hopeful that science can prevail as the process plays out.”

“I am deeply concerned and frustrated that one Judge has decided to block a collaborative process led by the state of Idaho and the Department of the Interior,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher. “Too often, litigious groups in the environmental community pinpoint specific Judges who are sympathetic to their agenda. This issue highlights why we need to modernize the Endangered Species Act and litigation reform.”