Don't Let the Bureau of Land Management Weaken Sage-Grouse Protections

Important protections for the Greater Sage-Grouse continue to be systematically weakened in favor of politically motivated short-term benefits. A majority of sage-grouse are found on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management—the protection of their most important habitat on these public lands is critical to the species' long-term survival. Protections for sage-grouse also benefit 350+ other species that rely on healthy sagebrush country. Greater Sage-Grouse health reflects the overall health of the iconic western sagebrush ecosystem. Tell the Bureau of Land Management not to weaken the Sage-Grouse Conservation Plans.

The deadline to comment is May 21.

Note: Audubon will collect your comment, including your name, city, and state, and submit it to the Bureau of Land Management as part of the public comment period.

To whom it may concern: 

As someone who cares about birds and the places they need, I strongly oppose any changes to the BLM sage-grouse management plans from what was originally agreed to in 2015. The health of our nation's public lands is important to me. It is a legacy that we are passing on to future generations. BLM should focus on engaging communities in implementing the 2015 plans.

In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that Greater Sage-Grouse populations were in serious trouble and warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act. An unprecedented numbers of stakeholders across the West worked for many years on ensuring that sage-grouse management is based on science and good for local economies. The plans that were agreed to in 2015 led the USFWS to reverse its 2010 decision and find the future for sage-grouse was secure.

Weakening the plans would not be good for western states, put years of good work to waste, and revive the risk of a threatened or endangered species listing that was averted in 2015. BLM must use this supplemental process to thoroughly evaluate how its proposed change in management direction is likely to harm Greater Sage-Grouse habitat and is inconsistent with accepted science that tells us to meaningfully protect it. An honest analysis should lead to a different conclusion. Management of our nation's public lands should be based on science and take the long-term needs of communities into consideration, not the short-term political gains of a few.

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