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Conservation Groups Claim New Federal Guidelines to Protect Sage Grouse are Flawed

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December 29, 2011

Conservation Groups Claim New Federal Guidelines to Protect Sage Grouse are Flawed

--Chad Love

Some conservation groups are blasting new proposed federal guidelines for protecting sage grouse habitat as critically flawed.

From this story in the Billings Gazette:

Conservation groups across the West expressed disappointment Wednesday in a federal document that will guide the management of sage grouse habitat over the next several years. The Bureau of Land Management's new Instruction Memorandum, released Tuesday, recommends policies needed to mitigate the threats to sage-grouse habitat until long-term protection measures are developed.

But conservationists and biologists on Wednesday called the interim plan flawed, saying that while it encourages stronger protections, it fails to establish the policies needed to safeguard grouse from the threats the bird faces across its range.

"In cases where BLM officials want to ignore the welfare of sage grouse and ram through projects that are detrimental, there will be little in the new policy to stop them," said Erik Molvar, a wildlife biologist with the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance. "The interim policy is written with such loose language that BLM officials will have the latitude to do anything they want ˜ or nothing at all ˜ to protect the grouse." In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identified the threats that sage grouse face across its range. Among them, the agency named fragmentation from invasive plants, energy development, urbanization and agricultural development.

Thoughts? How many of you hunted sage grouse this year? Do you think the sage grouse is one of those species, like the lesser prairie chicken, that appears doomed to becoming "recreationally extinct" in terms of hunting opportunity?

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Energy development is a biggie for a number of these liberal groups that use the Sage Grouse protection to prevent energy development. Many democrat governors are very happy to see their economies boom, job creation boom by extracting NG in their state that is desperately needed to grow the economy. Many out of work folks in my state of Idaho are flocking to North Dakota, for example to make very good money in the NG fields. Two years ago here in Idaho we upped the SAGE GROUSE limit to 2 birds from a 1 bird limit...and now the SAGE GROUSE needs protection?

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Energy development is a biggie for a number of these liberal groups that use the Sage Grouse protection to prevent energy development. Many democrat governors are very happy to see their economies boom, job creation boom by extracting NG in their state that is desperately needed to grow the economy. Many out of work folks in my state of Idaho are flocking to North Dakota, for example to make very good money in the NG fields. Two years ago here in Idaho we upped the SAGE GROUSE limit to 2 birds from a 1 bird limit...and now the SAGE GROUSE needs protection?

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