May 07, 2015

Crapo: Feds Must Keep Commitment To Work With Idaho To Avoid Sage-Grouse Listing

Senator questions U.S. Fish and Wildfire Service Director, welcomes Valley County Commissioner to testify before EPW Committee

Washington, D.C.-U.S. Senator Mike Crapo is calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and various federal agencies to uphold their commitments to collaborate with Idaho to avoid a listing of the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

During a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing today, Crapo questioned Fish and Wildfire Service Director Dan Ashe about the agency's continued willingness to engage with western states on conservation management plans that would protect the sage-grouse while taking into account unique circumstances within each state. The hearing comes amid concerns of unwieldy land-use plans across the West, spurring speculation the agencies will undermine the process by acting unilaterally. 

"We [Idaho] have a very capable plan and effective planning process underway and want to be able collaborate with you rather than having rigid edicts come down that interfere with our ability to do exactly what the objective is-protect the sage-grouse," said Crapo to Ashe during the hearing.  

To view the clip from the hearing on YouTube, click here.

Crapo also welcomed Valley County Commissioner Gordon Cruickshank who was on Capitol Hill to share firsthand impacts of Endangered Species Act determinations on rural communities.  Like Crapo, Cruickshank testified that the ESA must be updated and improved to not only account for the impacts on species when considering a listing decision, but also the potential economic hardships associated with such decisions on communities and local governments.  To view video of Cruickshank's testimony and exchange with Crapo, click here