Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Battle royale looms as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke mulls overhaul of plans to protect sage grouse habitat

Western leaders, including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, are opposing a possible Trump administration push to overhaul federal plans for protecting greater sage grouse across a Texas-sized area in 10 states. Those plans were negotiated over five years by state and federal wildlife officials — with private landowners, conservationists and industry groups participating — as an alternative to listing the imperiled sage grouse as an endangered species. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke last week stayed mum on whether he’ll move ahead on a review of the plans. “Secretary Zinke has made clear his commitment to working with, rather than against, local communities and being a good neighbor to private landowners,” Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said in a prepared statement. “The Interior Department is looking forward to working with state and local partners to ensure we are striking a true balance between both conservation and responsible multiple use of our public lands.” Hickenlooper, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval went to Washington, D.C., recently and raised their concerns in a meeting with Zinke. Hickenlooper and Mead also sent Zinke letters dated April 19 and May 26 opposing proposed changes that would move “from a habitat-management model to one that sets population objectives for the states,” they wrote. “This is not the right decision,” they wrote...more

Here is the letter from Gov's Meade and Hickenlooper 


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