Washington, D.C. – Idaho's congressional delegation applauded the collaborative effort of Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on the Record of Decision (ROD) for the amended land use plans that better align the Bureau of Land Management plans with the State of Idaho aimed at Greater Sage-Grouse conservation. The plans deliver on years of collaborative work between the Department of the Interior and western states that have significant acres of sage-grouse habitat.
"The Department of Interior's decision announced today to better coordinate Bureau of Land Management plans for habitat protection of sage grouse with state conservation strategies is grounded in good science and practical considerations," said Senator Mike Crapo. "Key elements in this resolution include a commitment to work with all relevant stakeholders, adaptive management that reflects inevitable changes in on-the-ground conditions, and respect for state and local economic considerations. This approach will have greater public support and participation and a more beneficial outcome for sage grouse and its habitat. Congressman Mike Simpson, Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke, Idaho Governor Brad Little, and former Governor Butch Otter deserve special recognition for their dogged efforts to protect sage grouse in a manner that balances the interests of all involved.
"I am pleased the Department of Interior is taking the next step to bring sage grouse management back to the collaborative state model it was intended to be," said Senator Jim Risch. "Idaho has a successful history of wildlife management and is best equipped to make decisions for our state's unique landscape. I commend the efforts of Acting Secretary Bernhardt, Governor Otter, Governor Little and all the stakeholders in Idaho to make this happen."
"For several years, I have authored language in annual appropriations bills to ensure sage-grouse were not listed under the Endangered Species Act, while appropriating nearly $300 million to the western states to aid in sage-grouse conservation measures. I'm more than pleased the many stakeholders involved in this collaborative process came to an agreement on this vital issue," said Congressman Mike Simpson. "Acting Secretary Bernhardt, Governor Little, and former Governor Otter deserve substantial credit for their years of commitment to this collaborative process that has resulted in a balanced approach to conserving sage-grouse habitat and allowing local communities, ranchers, and other stakeholders to responsibly utilize public lands."
"I am happy to see the federal government taking seriously the concerns and suggestions from state and local governments– and improving their policies based on this feedback," said Congressman Russ Fulcher. "Thank you to Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt for creating this collaborative environment."