RELEASE: Interior Secretary Risking Success of Sage-Grouse Plan, CAP Issue Brief Says

Washington, D.C. — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is risking the success of the 11-state plan to conserve the greater sage-grouse and its habitat and is weakening a bedrock environmental law, according to a new column from the Center for American Progress.

At a speech Tuesday at the Western Governors Association summer meeting, Zinke is likely to discuss the Trump administration’s views on conservation, including his ill-advised proposal to reopen the Obama-era sage-grouse plan. That move threatens to undermine one of the most successful wildlife conservation efforts in recent years, the column says.

Governors from both sides of the political aisle have tried to convince Zinke that reconsidering the plan is a bad idea. His plan ignores the best science available and would eliminate tools that managers can use to restore sage-grouse habitats, the issue brief says.

“Instead of promoting a sound, science-based, collaborative conservation strategy, the administration continues to accelerate efforts to develop public lands in direct conflict with measures designed to conserve the sage-grouse and avoid unnecessary conflicts with energy development,” said Jim Lyons, a senior fellow at CAP and author of the column.

Read the column: “Zinke’s Plans Could Undermine the Sage-Grouse Conservation Strategy and Endangered Species Act,” by Jim Lyons.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org or 202-478-6327.