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.
For more information on this topic or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs or 202.478.6327.