DON'T ALLOW SAGE GROUSE CONSERVATION TO BE SET BACK

For years, sportsmen and women, energy and agriculture industry, conservation groups, private landowners, agencies, and outdoor businesses have worked to support the conservation of millions of acres of sagebrush habitat and help greater sage grouse populations rebound. Now, just two years after historic collaboration led to a big win for the bird and the sagebrush landscape, Secretary Zinke has ordered the Bureau of Land Management to consider reworking the conservation plans that got us there.
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We need your help, yet again, to tell the Trump administration to let conservation work for sage grouse and 350 other sagebrush species.

With so much at stake on the public land within the bird’s range, it seems that decision makers never tire of messing with sage grouse success. But amending the 98 resource management plans for key sagebrush habitats across the West could undo years of negotiations and science-based management. The plans have already received extensive review by the public, Western state governors, and cooperating agencies. Major delays, changes, or a compromised approach to habitat conservation will put sagebrush and its wildlife in jeopardy and create uncertainty for ranchers, the energy industry, outdoor recreation businesses, and rural Western communities.

Sportsmen and women have only 45 days to comment on this amendment process, so please take a few minutes to speak up and share why this is meaningful to you. Urge Secretary Zinke not to pursue a total overhaul of widely supported conservation plans and to let conservation work.


To ensure these are read, we encourage you to consider personalizing your email subject line. 


Recipients

  • Ms. Johanna Munson BLM Feedback
  • DOI Feedback

Contact

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Message

To: BLM and DOI Officials,

I am an American conservationist who values our public lands and all their multiple uses for our nation. The sagebrush ecosystem makes up a significant portion of our public lands supporting energy development and grazing, but also provides endless recreational opportunities all Americans value.

Sportsmen and women like myself know that sage country is vital not just for sage grouse, but also mule deer, elk, pronghorn and many others species of wildlife and plants. That's why I supported the collaborative efforts of federal agencies, the states, industry, landowners, hunters and anglers, and many other stakeholders to develop conservation plans for sage grouse that led to the decision in 2015 not add the bird to the endangered species list.

I am writing in regard to the 45-day public comment period for Amending federal land-use plans for greater sage grouse conservation (Federal Register Notice: FR Doc. 2017-21958 Filed 10-10-17). I'm deeply concerned about the possibility of major changes to the federal sage grouse plans that could undo science-based management actions necessary for the decision not to list the species and that were balanced with other multiple uses. Major changes driven by the desires of a few politicians and special interests for short-term gain only threaten the long-term certainty and stability that all stakeholders need from our federal land management agencies.

While I do understand that some states have a few remaining issues with the federal plans, many of these issues could be addressed by the BLM without major changes or disruption. Unfortunately, the BLM has yet to exhaust all administrative options and has immediately sought amendments with this open call for comments. I support BLM first using all administrative options to resolve issues, including instruction memorandums and training first. Should amendments be absolutely necessary, I only support targeted changes to resolve specific problems that are backed by past and current scientific information and that do not weaken conservation for sage grouse and sagebrush.

A lot is at stake for sportsmen and women, and all stakeholders, and I ask that you take my input seriously as you evaluate any needed improvements to the plans and their implementation. Altering the course of sage grouse and sagebrush conservation comes with great risk and uncertainty, and the long-term future of western public lands, the economy and way of life rests on your decisions during this process.

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

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