Bureau of Land Management releases Sage-grouse plan

Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) along with amendments that outline the conservation of Sage-grouse on Idaho public land.

BLM says the plan is intended to "better align" and strike a "regulatory balance" with a Trump Administration proposal that would open more than nine million acres to mining and drilling, but also removing protections on the almost-endangered Idaho sage-grouse.

Senior Director of National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), Bobby McEnaney said Idaho is ground zero for the sage-grouse population.

"The sage-grouse population in Idaho is one of the most important populations you'll find across the western states," McEnaney said. "As many people know, the population has been reduced over the last 10 to 20 years by 50 to 60 percent."

McEnaney went on to say: "The administration's decision is unfortunately a real step backwards in undermining decades of efforts by folks on the ground to maintain this critical species."

And conservation is key to many Twin Fall's residents.

"Well the first thought that pops into my head is that if they're endangered, I wouldn't recommend taking off the current laws," Hector Ramirez, a Twin Fall's resident said. "We should probably just keep it how it is, and leave them."

Regardless of opinion, McEnaney says it's up to residents to speak out.

"I think it's extraordinarily important that people voice their opinion about this bird and [how] their public lands will be managed,' said McEnaney.

BLM's Final Environmental Impact Statement is available to view online and is open for a 30 day period where the public can issue protest .

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