February 03, 2005

2nd Annual Idaho Rangeland Summit To Focus On â??Making The ESA Work Better For All

Agency, industry leaders to discuss rangeland, ESA issues

Boise, Idaho â?? Idaho ranching on public lands is at a turning point, and the future and sustainability of rangelands will be the focus of a summit meeting hosted by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo on August 17 and 18 in Boise. This yearâ??s forum, co-sponsored by the Idaho Rangeland Committee, is the second annual gathering sponsored by Crapo. The Rangeland Summit will include forums featuring: USDA Deputy Undersecretary of Natural Resources and Environment Dave Tenny, Interior Department Director of Forest and Rangeland Management Janette Kaiser, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams, NOAA Fisheries Director William Hogarth, Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Chairman Terry Gibson and Bureau of Land Management Group Manager for Rangeland Resources Bud Cribley. â??Public land range management is at a critical juncture,â?? Crapo said. â??The livelihood of those who depend on rangelands as well as the health of the public lands needs attention. It is absolutely necessary to bring together the leaders of the regionâ??s agencies along with those from interest groups and universities in a collaborative forum. This summit will work to facilitate interagency coordination, identify barriers to collaboration, encourage consistent policies and regulations, and implement workable and realistic solutions for continued and sustainable use of Idahoâ??s rangelands. The selected topic of the summit, â??Making the ESA Work Better for All,â?? is important to the entire state. We have many people who are presently involved in efforts to improve habitat and protect species, and the summit provides them with an opportunity to learn from each other.â?? Crapo will moderate panel discussions among the agency leaders, and a wide range of industry and interest groups who will report on actions taken since last yearâ??s summit, particularly on progress made in responding to challenges posed by the Endangered Species Act. The sessions begin with opening statements and project reports on August 17th at 1:00 p.m. in the Boise City Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, Boise City Hall, 150 North Capitol Boulevard, and will last until 4:30 p.m. The discussions by the invited panel continue from 9:00-12:00 p.m. on the morning of August 18th. A media availability is scheduled from 12:30-1:00 p.m. before the opening statements on the 17th. In addition to those listed above, the following organizations are expected to participate in the summit: State of Idaho, University of Idaho, Idaho Cattle Association, the Idaho Fish & Game and other groups. # # #