Judge rules BLM violated grazing laws in SW Idaho
BOISE, Idaho — A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management once again violated federal laws when it issued grazing permits instead of analyzing how grazing could harm sage grouse in four allotments in south-central Idaho.
In a ruling released Monday, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill found that the BLM failed to consider stopping grazing in any of the proposed management plans in the agency’s Burley Field Office.
The decision is round two of a lawsuit led by conservation group Western Watersheds Project that is challenging nearly 600 BLM grazing allotments spread across southern Idaho.
Winmill agreed that the BLM is allowed to automatically renew grazing permits without conducting lengthy environmental reviews.
However, it must still comply with federal laws requiring the agency to study rangeland degradation.