Environmental group: BLM is pushing through Idaho grazing permits

An environmental group claims U.S. officials are using the coronavirus pandemic to force through a long-delayed Idaho livestock grazing allotment decision in critical sage grouse habitat for a powerful agribusiness. WildLands Defense is asking the BLM to delay its March 20 decision approving Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.’s permit on about 94 square miles in southwestern Idaho until the virus abates. The director for the Idaho bureauhas refused. It’s not clear when the agency will issue a final decision, which would start a 30-day appeals process.