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Otter signs executive order to put in place state's sage grouse management plan

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BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed an executive order requiring state executive agencies to adopt Idaho's Sage-Grouse Management Plan.

Otter announced the signing Wednesday and in a statement says the plan demonstrates the state's commitment to a viable sage grouse population while also maintaining predictable levels of use on public lands.

The plan approved by the Idaho Land Board in April aims to protect habitat by creating enforceable stipulations in state leases, permits and easements. On private lands, the plan contains voluntary practices.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is under a court order to decide by Sept. 30 whether the sage grouse merits protections from the Endangered Species Act.

Idaho's plan is meant to halt the decline of sage grouse populations without having to list the species.

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