- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho bill that would stop information about voluntary sage grouse conservation on private land from becoming public has passed the Senate.

The Senate voted 24-11 to exempt information about private lands contracting with public agencies working on sage grouse conservation from the state’s public records act.

The goal is to attract more private land owners who may be reluctant to work with the government to protect the bird.

Republican Sen. Lee Heider from Twins Falls says that private information - such as how much money the land is leased for and how many cattle are on the land - shouldn’t need to be released.

But Democratic Sen. Grant Burgoyne from Boise says the public records act already contains too many exceptions, undermining the purpose of the law.

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