Idaho governor, GOP leaders ask to join sage grouse suit

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) An Idaho ranch's attempt to block U.S. efforts to protect the greater sage grouse has attracted the support of Gov. C.L. ``Butch'' Otter and other top state Republicans.

Otter, House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill asked a federal judge last month for permission to intervene in a lawsuit targeting the federal government's regulation of sage grouse habitat.

The lawsuit was filed in April by Oakley-based brothers Douglas, Don and David Pickett, who own Tugaw ranch. They are being represented by conservative law firm Pacific Legal Foundation.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, along with other top federal officials, are named as defendants in the suit.

The lawsuit alleges the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service failed to submit the rules to Congress for review.

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