Washington, D.C. — Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released new plans affecting the sage-grouse that seriously undermine a strategy developed under the Obama administration that helped avoid listing the grouse as endangered. In response, Jim Lyons, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The new BLM sage-grouse plans risk undermining key elements of the successful science-based, collaborative conservation strategy developed to protect an iconic species of the West. Contrary to the Obama-era sage-grouse plans, these plans permit new oil and gas development in key habitat areas despite data showing that most of the valuable energy reserves are outside sage-grouse habitat. Most Sagebrush Focal Areas, intended to protect the best of the best remaining habitat for sage-grouse, have been eliminated. And the plans no longer require developers to mitigate the damage they cause to habitat on public lands. As a result, the remaining sagebrush landscape is likely to continue to shrink, increasing the grouse’s risk of extinction.
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