Two of the most talked about topics related to public lands have been fires and the possible listing under the Endangered Species Act of Sage grouse. What hasn’t been as well talked about is how the recent BLM management plans will help both.
As a public land hunter, I support the BLM plans. They help put resources into rehabilitating important habitat after fire to ensure that invasive weeds don’t take over and hurt wildlife populations. The plans will benefit not only sage grouse, but mule deer, pronghorn and a host of other species, both game and non-game.
I am hopeful that our elected officials in Washington D.C. and Boise have the common sense to work with our land managers to implement these actions soon, rather than focus on the ridiculous task of delaying implementation of these plans. That’s akin to burning down the barn because one rafter needs fixing.
Only by working together, can we find the solution to the issues facing sage grouse. The BLM plans are an honest attempt to do this, and I support that effort. It’s time for our delegation and our governor to stand up and support them as well.
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Note: Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Tuesday announced that sage grouse will not need the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act.
Drew Wahlin, Idaho Chukar Foundation, Meridian