Idaho lawmakers are introducing legislation to protect threatened mountain wildlife populations.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDDFG) is currently in negotiations with Idaho National Park Service (INPS) to restore the habitat of mountain bluebird and mountain range animals.
The bill would protect these species by protecting protected lands, areas, and areas within the park, according to the legislation.
The legislation is expected to be introduced during a committee meeting Tuesday afternoon.
The bills would prohibit federal agencies from using “a tool or process to prevent, restrict, or limit the access to, or the distribution of, any federally listed threatened species, including mountain bluebirds and mountain ranges.”
The bill states that any attempt by a federal agency to use the federal Endangered Species Act to prevent the listing of a species would violate the protections of the ESA.
Rep. Mike Turner (R-ID) said the legislation would be a step in the right direction for the Idaho public lands.
“The Idaho State Parks has been under tremendous threat since the late 1990s, but it is time for this important legislation to be passed and signed into law to protect these endangered species and our wild places,” Turner said in a statement.
“I’m glad we are finally getting this legislation passed, as this bill will protect the health of Idaho’s wild places and wildlife, and help protect Idaho’s heritage and heritage value.”
Sen. Steve Smith (R) was one of two senators to introduce the bill, which is expected in the House.
The proposed legislation was introduced in the Senate in May and is still pending in the house.
The bill would prevent federal agencies and departments from using the Endangered and Endangered Wildlife Restoration Act (EWLRSA) to prevent or restrict the distribution, possession, transportation, or trade of federally listed species.
The ESA is a federal law that establishes guidelines to protect the status of endangered species.
The ESA was created by the Endangers Wild Species Act of 1973.
The EWRSA is a statute created in 1986 by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Endangerment of Wildlife Restoration Acts of 1970 and 1976.
It was created to protect fish and wildlife in the waters of federal, state, and local waters from threats such as overfishing, overferal hunting, or habitat destruction.
The Endangers Act of 1972 allows for certain types of fisheries to be operated under the EWRAA to ensure fish and game populations are maintained in their natural habitat.