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.