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Eye On Boise

Tue., May 14, 2013, 2:05 p.m.

Feds back off on court appeal over slickspot peppergrass listing, Otter welcomes move

The Obama Administration today decided to drop its appeal in the 9th Circuit of a federal judge's rejection of its move to list slickspot peppergrass as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act; Gov. Butch Otter applauded the administration's decision. "It took a while, but the feds apparently have figured out that collaborating and finding common ground is more effective than forcing a wrongheaded listing down our throats," Otter declared. He said if the plant had been listed as threatened, critical habitat designations that would follow would have been "devastating for farmers, ranchers and recreational land users in southwestern Idaho."

Click below for Otter's full statement. The Obama Administration first listed slickspot peppergrass as threatened in 2009, but the move was overturned in court when federal Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled that the process the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used for listing the plant was flawed. Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker has more info on this here.

C.L. “Butch” Otter

GOVERNOR

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

May 14, 2013

 

FEDS DROP APPEAL OF JUDGE’S SLICKSPOT RULING

 

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today welcomed the Obama administration’s decision to drop its appeal of a judge’s decision against the federal listing of slickspot peppergrass as a “threatened species.”

Chief U.S. Magistrate Candy Dale refused in December 2012 to reconsider her ruling the previous August that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s process for listing the plant under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was fatally flawed. The Obama administration appealed her decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but today it voluntarily asked the appellate court to dismiss that appeal.

Governor Otter was a member of Congress in 2003 when he took part in developing a State conservation plan aimed at preventing an ESA listing for slickspot peppergrass. Despite that effort, the Obama administration listed the species as threatened in 2009. That prompted Governor Otter and his Office of Species Conservation to challenge the listing in federal court.

“It took a while, but the feds apparently have figured out that collaborating and finding common ground is more effective than forcing a wrongheaded listing down our throats,” Governor Otter said. “The ‘critical habitat’ designations that would have followed a threatened species listing could have been devastating for farmers, ranchers and recreational land users in southwestern Idaho. We remain committed to our management plan that focuses on protecting both the plant and the people.”

 

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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