The US. Federal District Court in Boise today ruled that the federal government erred when it listed Slickspot peppergrass as a "threatened species" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Today's decision was handed down by Judge Candy W. Dale.
"Without a properly calibrated definition Plaintiffs' concern that the species will be perpetually listed is well founded," Judge Dale wrote in her opinion. Judge Dale's decision vacates the ESA listing and requires that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 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," Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter said.
In 2003, the State of Idaho under the leadership of Governor Otter developed a conservation plan to conserve the species and its habitat and maintain predictable levels of land use. After years of effort by the state and its partners the Obama administration listed the species as "threatened" in 2009. In response to that decision, Governor Otter, and his Office of Species Conservation filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Slickspot ESA listing.