Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Feds to give states more flexibility in protecting wild bird
The Interior Department on Monday unveiled a plan to protect the threatened sage grouse that gives Western states where the bird lives flexibility for economic development. Miners, ranchers and some Western governors had argued Obama-era policies jeopardized logging and other businesses.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the new strategy for the ground-dwelling bird that has suffered a dramatic population decline across its 11-state range. Zinke insisted that the federal government and the states can work together to protect the sage grouse and its habitat while not slowing economic growth and job creation.
While the federal government has a responsibility under the Endangered Species Act to protect the bird, officials also have an obligation “to be a good neighbor and a good partner,” Zinke said. Zinke said in June that “state agencies are really at the forefront of efforts to maintain healthy fish and wildlife populations” across the country, adding that the Trump administration is committed to ensuring that state voices are heard in decisions affecting land use and wildlife management.
In particular, Zinke said he has received complaints from several Western governors that the Obama administration ignored or minimized their concerns as the 2015 sage-grouse plan was developed. Republican governors in Idaho, Utah and Nevada all want more flexibility and say the conservation efforts should rely less on land-use restrictions “and more on numbers” of birds in a particular state, Zinke said.
The new plan is intended to provide flexibility to states instead of a “one-size-fits-all solution” ordered by former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Zinke said...more