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Nearly 350 plant and animal species depend on sagebrush habitat for their survival.


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Industry group suit targets oil, gas reforms on public lands

Judith Kohler, Aug. 19, 2016

South Park is one of the areas where a master leasing plan will be used to take a close look at balancing energy development with important wildlife resources. Image: Suzanne O'Neill

The Western Energy Alliance wants to force the federal government to offer oil and gas leases on public lands, whether there’s demand by the industry or not. Whether it makes sense for American taxpayers or not.

And the Denver-based trade group wants the courts to force the agency that manages drilling on our public lands to roll back reforms that are intended to ensure the drilling is done responsibly.

The WEA has filed a lawsuit claiming the Bureau of Land Management has violated the Mineral Leasing Act by failing to hold quarterly oil and gas lease sales in oil- and gas-producing states. The lawsuit also targets reforms launched by the Interior Department in 2010 after several years of ramped-up leasing and drilling in the Rocky Mountain West.

“The Western Energy Alliance and its  industry supporters prefer the old ‘leap before you look’ approach that benefited no one but them and want to force BLM to sell leases without fully understanding the value of either the energy reserve or other public resources that might be placed at risk by development," says Kate Zimmerman, the National Wildlife Federation's public lands policy director.

BLM maps way forward in 21st Century

Judith Kohler, NWF

The BLM is considering changes to update its planning process. Image: USFWS-Mountain-Prairie Region

Fish, mule deer, pronghorn and greater sage-grouse don’t know – or care -- when they’ve crossed a state line or the boundary of the neighboring Bureau of Land Management field office.

The places they eat and sleep and where they roam or swim are determined by geography, centuries-old migration patterns and available food and water sources -- not arbitrary lines on a map or organizational chart.

Yet, those maps and charts often drive decisions on public-lands management, with huge and lasting impacts on fish and wildlife. The impacts ripple out, affecting hunters and anglers, wildlife watchers and everyone who appreciates the spectacular diversity of the natural world.

Take Boulder-White Clouds off the waiting list

Michael Gibson, July 15, 2015

Image: Blake Simmons
Protecting the Boulder-White Clouds means protections for the Chinook salmon, steelhead, bull trout and westslope cutthroat inhabiting its waters, and the mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk and mule deer roaming high peaks and valleys spanning nearly 600,000 acres of wild lands. Add your name to the list of sportsmen and women calling for a monument designation for the Boulder-White Clouds today.

Speak up for South Park, one of the region’s last, great places

Judith Kohler June 22, 2015

Calling all anglers, hunters, wildlife watchers, hikers, campers – everybody who cherishes the West’s special places and wants to see them conserved. The public can help guide management of public lands in one of those special places, Colorado’s South Park, a world-class fishing and wildlife haven just a little more than an hour’s drive from the Denver area.