New Direction from New Administration
However, these last-minute additions were seen as unacceptable by the State of Idaho. To address state and industry concerns, in 2018 the new federal administration reopened the Amended Resource Management Plans for revision. The purpose and need was changed from “to conserve, enhance, and restore sage-grouse habitat” to “enhance cooperation with the States by modifying the approach to Greater-Sage-Grouse management in existing RMPs to better align with individual state plans and/or conservation measures and DOI and BLM policy.”
ICL was initially alarmed by initial direction from Sec. Zinke that more efforts should be placed on “captive breeding facilities” and removing impediments to predator control.
We were somewhat relieved to see that the State of Idaho and most other stakeholders appeared to be most interested in relatively minor adjustments and did not seem interested in throwing out the entire plan.
While we would have preferred that the 2015 plans stayed in place, we will remain engaged to see that the BLM retains the key provisions of the plans and hope that these will be sufficient to protect sage-grouse habitat into the future.