Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Group effort rules the roost in Wyoming, then Washington intervenes

Since taking the helm of the US Interior Department, Ryan Zinke has upset a delicate balance of conservation and energy interests in Wyoming, throwing the fate of the greater sage-grouse into question. Following President Trump’s directive to prioritize energy production, Secretary Zinke has focused on identifying and eliminating any efforts that “unnecessarily burden” energy development. This focus has inevitably made a chicken-sized bird one of the most contentious aspects of Zinke’s 16 months in office. Westerners say the Interior Department’s new energy commitment risks not only the health of the greater sage-grouse, but also the largest land conservation effort in US history. The 2015 greater sage-grouse plan proved that compromise between industry, conservation, and landowners was possible – an example of when US policymaking works. Now stakeholders across the 11 states who signed onto the plan worry that the federal government, even a Republican one, will override years of local cooperation...MORE

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