Washington, D.C. — Today, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell released a plan to protect the habitat of the greater sage grouse. The plan exemplifies how scientists, communities, landowners, and other interested parties can work together to protect endangered habitats and promote local economies. Center for American Progress Visiting Senior Fellow David J. Hayes issued the following statement in response:
The land-use plans released today are unprecedented in their scope and importance to sage grouse and, more generally, to the health and integrity of our public lands. By conserving the best habitat and guiding development to lower-impact areas, these plans provide a pathway for the greater sage grouse population — and the open lands on which they depend—to recover and survive. Western communities must now remain vigilant to ensure that Congress does not block this path to recovery and dismantle the years of collaborative work that have been done to conserve one of America’s most rugged and iconic landscapes.
This effort is the latest confirmation that important habitats needed for imperiled species can be identified, and protected, when all parties work together in good faith. That is the untold story of the Endangered Species Act: It provides the flexibility needed to accommodate varied interests when scientists work closely with landowners, local communities, private interests, and others to develop landscape-level plans that protect strongholds needed for species survival.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.481.7141.