Sage-grouse Plans Under Attack!

October 27, 2017

Western Watersheds Project wasn’t thrilled with the 2014 and 2015 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments (ARMPAs) for Greater Sage-grouse. We had repeatedly warned the Department of Interior that the ARMPAs were too weak, didn’t follow the best science, and built in far too much wiggle room to provide sufficient protections from the harms of livestock grazing, oil and gas development, and vegetation “treatments.” We filed a lawsuit in 2016 with hopes of strengthening the plans.

Little did we know that there would be a Trump administration and a Ryan Zinke in 2017 working to prioritize undermining the already-compromised habitat protections to fast-track industrial uses of sage-grouse habitat on public lands.

On October 7, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a Notice to Revisethe ARMPAs, starting with a scoping comment period open now until November 27, 2017. The BLM is accepting public input on the issues, management questions, and concerns that should be addresses in the plan amendments. 

Public meetings are being held during the first two weeks of November. It will be important to show up and speak out for increased protections for sage-grouse habitat on public lands.

IDAHO (Details here)

  • 11/2 Twin Falls,
  • 11/6 Idaho Falls
  • 11/7 Marsing, Idaho

NEVADA (Details here)

  • 11/7 Reno
  • 11/8 Elko
  • 11/9 Ely

CALIFORNIA (Details here

  • 11/3 Alturas

OREGON (Details here)

  • 11/7 Burns

COLORADO (Details here

  • 11/9 Craig

MONTANA (Details here)

  • 11/8 Billings

WYOMING (Details here

  • 11/6 Cheyenne
  • 11/8 Pinedale

You can submit comments online here, identifying the parts of the plan that you think should be revised… or not!  

Below is a sample letter to put in your own words.

Dear Secretary Zinke and BLM,

I strongly support Greater Sage-Grouse conservation and the protection of sagebrush habitat on over 67 million acres of public land. I strongly disagree with the your intention of revising the plans in order to accommodate more industrial and extractive uses, because I believe the 2014 and 2015 plan amendments already compromised too much to really save the sage-grouse from extinction. Any revisions to the plans should strengthen them and mandate conformance with the scientific recommendations of the National Technical Team report of 2011. Otherwise, please don’t amend any of the plans or undermine the BLM’s existing safeguards on sage-grouse habitat.

Thank you for considering these comments.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

WWP will be submitting extensive comments about ways the BLM should be strengthening the plans and identifying the scientific support for better protections in sage-grouse habitat. These proposed revisions are a disheartening step in the wrong direction, but we’ll keep fighting. 

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