A US. Federal District Court judge in Boise today ruled that the federal government erred when it listed Slickspot peppergrass as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
U.S. District Judge Candy W. Dale wrote: “Without a properly calibrated definition… Plaintiffs’ concern that the species will be perpetually listed is well founded.”
Her decision vacates the ESA listing and requires that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to again reevaluate according to the court’s instructions.
“I am encouraged that the Court agreed with my argument that the federal government’s decision, to list the species was flawed under the ESA,” Gov Butch Otter said.
Scientists concluded that grazing on public lands is low on the list of threats to the annual flowering bush that grows in wet areas of Southwest Idaho’s sagebrush steppe desert. Yet its listing will have more impact on ranchers on public lands than any other group.
It has been the center of a legal and political fight since 2003.