BOISE – The Obama administration has backed off its appeal of a federal judge’s decision against making slickspot peppergrass a threatened species.
Gov. Butch Otter cheered the decision Tuesday, calling it good news for ranchers and farmers along the Snake River plain where the plant grows.
In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lost a bid to leave federal protections in place for the desert plant. In that case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale refused to reconsider a previous ruling finding that the agency’s decision to list the plant was flawed. The Obama administration then appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before withdrawing Tuesday.
Otter says federal officials have concluded it makes more sense to work with the state on how to manage the species.