Take action to comment on greater sage grouse BLM draft plan

The public comment period for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft plan for conservation of the greater sage grouse in western states is open until June 13. This important species of the sagebrush ecosystem in Colorado and other western states needs a very good science-based conservation plan on public lands to guide future management that will enable its survival. The greater sage grouse has declined in overall populations by 80 percent since 1965 due in large part to habitat loss and degraded quality of habitat. Degraded sagebrush habitat also impacts many other species. Our organization has been involved in greater sage grouse planning processes for several years, beginning by working collaboratively among diverse interests to gain a good plan adopted in 2015 that was followed by proposed weakening of the plan in 2019.  BLM’s draft plan in 2024 is intended to reverse the decline in greater sage grouse populations, ensure that the species continues not to warrant listing under the endangered Species Act as a threatened or endangered species, protect intact sagebrush landscapes, achieve consistency across the species’ range, and prove to become a durable management solution. We thank BLM for this planning process to avoid the necessity of a listing under the Endangered Species Act by targeting conservation efforts around the most important habitat in these states. Our assessment is that it would be best for BLM to select elements from each alternative it has presented in the draft plan (from alternatives 4 and 5 and a few pieces from alternative 3) as no one alternative is adequate. (As to best available science, a crucial factor is an appropriate buffer around leks to protect nesting from infrastructure development.) Please submit your comment to BLM on its portal to urge science-based conservation of the greater sage grouse and sagebrush ecosystem. To post a comment to BLM by June 13, click here.

Thank-you!!  CWF will submit our comment letter before the public comment period closes.