Printed on: March 24, 2013

Bill gives more say on species

By Melissa Davlin
Twin Falls Times-News

BOISE -- The Idaho House approved a bill addressing endangered species management in the state.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, adds language to the existing statute on endangered species to reiterate that a species can't be introduced or reintroduced without state approval.

Dustin Miller, administrator for the Office of Species Conservation, said the change beefs up existing code when it comes to asserting state sovereignty on species management.

That doesn't mean, however, that the legislation will stop the federal government from bringing in a species without Idaho's consent.

"There is no guarantee that the federal government will acknowledge this," Miller said.

But it might give the state more standing in a court challenge, he said.

There are no pending or upcoming plans to reintroduce a species to Idaho.

"It really is a just-in-case situation right now," Miller said.

The bill already passed the Senate and is awaiting Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's signature.