The Governor’s Office of Species Conservation (OSC) was created in 2000 with passage of Senate Bill 1490, which established the agency within the Executive Office of the Governor. OSC is dedicated to planning, coordinating and implementing the State’s actions to preserve, protect and restore species listed as candidate, threatened and endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). This work is done in coordination with the State’s natural resource agencies and with input from the citizens of Idaho, while taking into consideration the economic vitality of the State. OSC is located on the first floor of the Borah building across the street from the Idaho State Capitol. The office also has two satellite offices in Salmon, ID and Moscow, ID
Core Functions/Idaho Code
- Coordinate federal ESA programs with State agencies (§ 67-818).
- Solicit, provide, and delegate funding for ESA programs (§67-819).
- Create de-listing advisory teams (§ 36-2402, 2403, 2404).
- Serve as the State’s “one voice” on ESA policy (§ 67-818, 2(a)).
- Provide a mechanism for Idaho citizens to voice ESA concerns (§ 67-818, 2(g)).
- Facilitate collaboration between State, federal and private stakeholders (§ 67-818, 2(b)(c)(g).
The Office of Species Conservation maintains three goals that guide the performance of its core functions:
- Coordinate implementation of State policy among State agencies with regards to ESA programs.
- Negotiate agreements with federal resource agencies that rely upon science and common sense, involve all parties affected by recovery decisions, and incorporate Idaho’s economic vitality and values into planning and decision-making processes.
- Coordinate the solicitation of funding resources and provide reasonable oversight and insure cost effective allocation of funding for ESA programs.
Challenges to fulfilling the Office’s mission include changes in federal regulations, adjustments in priorities due to petitions and/or litigation, unpredictable funding, and random environmental events that impact ESA species.
|Revenue||FY 2014||FY 2015||FY 2016||FY 2017|
|Expenditure||FY 2014||FY 2015||FY 2016||FY 2017|
|Expenditure||FY 2014||FY 2015||FY 2016||FY 2017|
|Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery||$2,804,425||$3,030,762||$3,877,660||$2,549,419|
|Snake River Basin Adjudication||$2,080,174||$5,010,337||$4,775,038||$1,006,665|
|Bonneville Power Fish Accords||$1,083,274||$1,700,297||$2,838,035||$2,577,825|
|Wolf Depredation Claims/Awards||45/44||16/16||16/14||22/22|
|Sage Grouse Conservation||$53,194||$101,793||$302,181||$426,831|
|U.S. Bureau of Rec. - Salmon Basin Coordination||N/A||N/A||N/A||$230,300|
*Values in table represent T&B expenditures as a proxy for key services provided
- Greater Sage-Grouse
- In FY17, OSC continued to implement the habitat and population components of the Governor’s Sage-Grouse Conservation Strategy.
- OSC staff continued to provide coordination, administration and technical assistance for sage-grouse conservation actions.
- OSC began developing a mitigation program for infrastructure project proponents to use to offset impacts of development on sage-grouse habitat.
- In FY17, OSC remained active in the Governor’s litigation concerning the overly-restrictive federal land use plan amendments for greater sage-grouse.
- OSC continues to represent the Governor on the Western Governors’ Association/U.S. Department of the Interior Sage-Grouse Task Force.
- OSC participated in the review of the federal sage-grouse plans via the Secretary of the Interior’s Secretarial Order 3353.
- Salmon and Steelhead Recovery
- OSC, in collaboration with our satellite offices in Salmon and Moscow, and partner agencies, continued to implement habitat restoration actions in key watersheds with significant potential for salmon and steelhead recovery in Idaho.
- During FY17, OSC implemented $6.3 million dollars in habitat restoration projects in the Salmon and Clearwater watersheds.
- OSC participated in bi-state negotiations concerning fish recovery and passage within Idaho Power Company’s Hells Canyon complex.
- OSC was tasked with acting as the lead “cooperating agency” for Idaho for the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Federal Columbia River Power System. This EIS will inform a new federal Biological Opinion (BiOp) for anadromous fish slated for completion in 2018.
- Grizzly Bear
- OSC worked closely with Idaho Fish and Game to delist the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear. This included assisting in the development of a tri-state discretionary mortality management agreement, reinforcing conservation commitments, and updating both the recovery plan and conservation strategy for this population.
- Woodland Caribou
- OSC remained active in assisting the USFWS in drafting a new recovery plan for woodland caribou in Northern Idaho.
- Species Status Assessments
- OSC worked closely with Idaho Fish and Game to complete 3 species status assessments (scientifically-based assessments). Species included were: wolverine, fisher and Canada lynx.
- Idaho Roadless Rule Commission
- In FY17OSC continued to serve as liaison between the Governor’s Office and the Idaho Roadless Commission.
- Land Use Planning
- In FY17, OSC staff participated in a multitude of land use planning efforts including the Gateway West transmission project, Craters of the Moon MMP, and the Salmon Challis Forest Plan Revision.
Goal #1. Coordinated implementation of State policy among State agencies pertaining to federal ESA programs. OSC collaborates with State natural resource agencies to coordinate the State’s actions on all ESA recovery plans, management plans, public comment periods, biological opinions, species specific recovery projects, and assistance programs.
Goal #2: Negotiate agreements, deliver comments on federal policy and provide technical and legal assistance. OSC facilitates and/or participates in the development of species and/or habitat conservation programs with Idaho citizens and industries that may be affected by ESA species listing decisions and critical habitat designations.
Goal #3: Coordinated solicitation, reasonable oversight and cost effective allocation of funding resources for ESA Programs. OSC solicits, provides and delegates funding towards efforts that: a) assist in precluding the need to list species through conservation efforts; b) recover listed species through conservation efforts; and c) balance species conservation with maintain working landscapes and the economic vitality of the state.
|Performance Measure||FY 2014||FY 2015||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018|
|Goal 1 - Coordinate State ESA Policy|
|State policy/technical coordination meetings||actual||50+||200+||620+||450||----------|
|Goal 2 - Species and/or Habitat Consultation|
|Species/habitat/policy comments and litigation||actual||8||6||25||15||----------|
|Goal 3 - Effective Project Management|
|Wolf depredation and compensation(claims/awarded/amount)||actual||45/44/77K||16/16/36K||16/14/36K||22/22/54K||----------|
|Solicitations for conservation projects||actual||2||2||2||3||----------|
|Number of proposals received||actual||24||22||22||55||----------|
|Number of projects awarded funds||actual||21||20||20||45||----------|
|Amount of funding awarded to projects||actual||$5,889,326||$9,778,532||$3,793,222||$4,956,378||----------|