A federal appeals court has overturned a U.S. District Court’s dismissal of a lawsuit by environmental groups challenging a federal agency’s killing of wolves in Idaho.
A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Tuesday ruled that U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge erred in January 2018 when he ruled in favor of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services.
Specifically, the appeals panel ruled that the environmental groups have standing to bring the lawsuit, and sent the case back to the district court.
The environmental groups contend Wildlife Services’ 2011 study allowing it to kill wolves in the state is flawed because it relies on outdated information.
The groups say the Agriculture Department is violating environmental laws by killing wolves without a new environmental analysis.
Legislation to limit how much the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has to pay ranchers and farmers for damage to crops caused by elk, deer and other big game has been signed into law by Republican Gov. Brad Little.
Little last week signed the bill that would cap the amount paid for any single claim at 10 percent of the money in the Expendable Big Game Depredation Trust Account.
Backers say the cap is needed because a claim recently came in for $1 million, enough to wipe out the fund and eliminate smaller payments to others.
Those opposed to the bill say it lets Fish and Game off the hook when it comes to paying for damage to crops caused by big game.
Legislation that would allow people to transport hemp through Idaho if they first get a permit from the Idaho Department of Agriculture director has won the approval of a House committee.
The legislation sponsored by Republican Reps. Judy Boyle of Midvale and Caroline Nilsson Troy of Genesee, would treat the transportation of hemp similarly to how the state treats the transportation of livestock, with out-of-state carriers required to get a permit and then comply with Idaho State Police checkpoints at specific state entry points.
Phil Haunschild with the Idaho Freedom Foundation testified against the bill, saying its intent was noble but that it would cause problems for companies and truckers who ship hemp from state to state under their own state permits and don’t realize Idaho has its own special rules.