BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho wildlife officials want the public's input on proposed hunting
changes for sage grouse, a game bird that's a candidate for federal Endangered
Species Act protections. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission plans to take up
recommendations for the 2012 sage grouse hunting season at its Aug. 23 meeting.
If adopted, the changes would follow guidelines laid out in Idaho's state plan
meant to protect the birds — and help convince federal officials that Idaho is
doing enough without federal listing. A listing could dramatically affect
activities including ranching in sage grouse habitat. Among changes include
closure of all sage grouse hunting in Elmore County, from a portion last year,
and moving opening day to Sept. 15, earlier than in 2011.