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Idaho Drafts New State Sage-Grouse Plan

Cara J

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Idaho is working on a new draft conservation plan for the sage-grouse in an effort to keep the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from potentially listing the species under the Endangered Species Act this fall. “We are hopeful that the effort that’s put forth by Idaho and other western states is considered by the FWS, and that ultimately they can see that there is enough rigor in those plans that they decide the listing of the species will not be necessary,” said Tom Schultz, director of Idaho Department of Lands (IDL), in a phone interview. “We have been working here diligently in the last three to four months to come up with a plan for state lands,” Schultz continued. The draft plan will look at conservation strategies and include specific criteria for development such as the need for a one-kilometer buffer zone around greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) leks. One the biggest factors affecting the sagebrush habitat that grouse live in are invasive species. Currently, species like medusahead rye (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) make sagebrush habitat more fire prone and dangerous for grouse, and the plan looks to put money towards controlling this issue. The plan also explores ways [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/idaho-drafts-new-state-sage-grouse-plan/

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