Great news! A national effort is underway to conserve the magnificent Greater Sage-Grouse, known for its spectacular mating dance.
You can be part of this effort to finally reverse declining grouse populations, while providing for sustainable use of public lands and a legacy of protected landscapes.
What's at stake are the rapidly disappearing wide-open spaces of the American West needed by grouse to survive. The region is crisscrossed with roads, oil and gas wells, mining pits, and powerlines--while the sagebrush habitat required by grouse is being overrun by cows, wild horses, ATVs, and invasive cheatgrass. Based on current trends, much more development and habitat degradation is on the way.
You can make a difference by sending a comment letter urging that BLM adopt conservation measures--called the conservation alternative, or "Alternative C"--to ensure sustainable management for the Greater Sage-Grouse. The best available science indicates that these conservation measures are imperative to stabilize and recover grouse populations.
Take action today: Send a message that only by protecting the best remaining sage-grouse habitat now can we hope to conserve the species.
I am pleased that BLM is leading the effort to conserve the Greater Sage-Grouse, one of the most iconic and imperiled bird species of the American West. However, I am concerned that BLM's preferred alternative does not comply with the best available science or with standards necessary to stabilize and recover grouse populations. I encourage BLM to adopt the conservation measures in Alternative C to ensure sustainable management and to conserve the species. These include recommendations to limit future development and to create protected areas.
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A report by the U.S. Geological Survey and other peer-reviewed research indicate that conserving the Greater Sage-Grouse will require both protecting large areas of habitat and making significant changes in land management to reverse population declines of this wide-ranging species. The Survey found that most priority sage-grouse habitat is already heavily degraded and that grouse are only persisting in large, relatively undisturbed blocks of habitat. The species' survival requires a plan that will effectively reduce the rate of its decline and stabilize its population.
For years, fossil fuels production and other commercial uses have dominated public land management across sagebrush habitats, resulting in significant impacts to wildlife, public recreation, and air and water quality. Protecting large expanses of important sage-grouse habitat--as outlined in Alternative C--will help stem the decline of many species of wildlife across the American West. This alternative will also begin restoring balance to an over-utilized and degraded landscape, while at the same time identifying areas most appropriate for development and those that need to be avoided.
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