Westslope Cutthroat Trout Petition Denied; Utah Ranchers Match IWP's Bids for Utah School Trust Land Grazing Leases


Westslope Cutthroat Trout Petition Denied

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a decision stating that the listing of the westslope cutthroat trout under the Endangered Species Act is "not warranted". Idaho Watersheds Project was a co-petitioner in 1997 with several groups including the lead group, American Wildlands of Bozeman, Montana to list this native trout which is the state fish of Montana and Idaho. The process of getting to this denial required two successful lawsuits to be filed by the co-petitioners to force the Fish and Wildlife Service to obey the law in considering the petition. While acknowledging that the remaining healthy populations of the trout are mostly limited to fragmented and isolated headwater areas (especially in Montana), the Service's rule states that the fish is present in over 20,000 miles of stream habitat in the U.S.A. and Canada and therefore, does not warrant listing. IWP and the other petitioners led by American Wildlands will consider further legal action after more fully reviewing the denial of this petition.

Utah Ranchers Match IWP's Bids for Utah School Trust Land Grazing Leases

Idaho Watersheds Project's premium bids of $2,500. to lease two parcels totaling 4,300 acres of Utah school trust land grazing leases on the east side of Bear Lake in Rich County, Utah were matched by two Utah Ranchers thereby securing them the renewal of those leases. The payment of the additional money benefits the Utah public schools and again illustrates that public land ranchers are willing and able to pay significantly more for grazing than currently required to. The current Utah State grazing fee is $2.10 per AUM (a cow and calf for one month) as compared to Idaho's $4.95 per AUM and the federal government's giveaway fee of $1.35 per AUM.