Alliance Supports Senator Gardner’s Sage-Grouse Bill
by Kathleen Sgamma, Vice President of Government and Public Affairs on April 23, 2015 - 7:59am
This week, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act, which empowers states to continue managing Greater Sage-Grouse while providing them time to show the Fish & Wildlife Service that their conservation efforts are effective. The Act is a common-sense way to ensure the protection of the species without harming the western economy and job creation.
Western Energy Alliance is proud to be one of the highlighted organizations supporting the plan.
States effectively manage sage-grouse populations and should retain management authority for the species. States already have or are currently developing viable conservation plans that protect sage-grouse by using a bottom-up process with input from diverse stakeholders. These plans provide a sensible and adaptive approach to managing the species based on local conditions, while allowing responsible economic activities to occur.
And state plans are more effective than a one-size-fits-all federal approach. For example, Utah’s state plan is already showing success, with a 40% rise in sage-grouse populations last year.
Western Energy Alliance has been urging the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to recognize the state plans as they update nearly one hundred federal land management plans across the West with very restrictive measures for sage grouse. Many of the measures in the plan amendments do not balance conservation with continued economic activity, are unnecessarily restrictive, lack proper scientific justification, and are not tailored to local conditions. Senator Gardner’s bill would help restore the proper federal/state balance when it comes to sage grouse conservation.