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Saving the Sagebrush Sea: An Imperiled Western Legacy

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


 

Win for Wildlife: Master leasing plan proposed in southwest Colorado

Date: 
Thu, 10/06/2016

Colorado BLM has proposed a master leasing plan for parts of southwest Colorado. Image: Flickr-PDK Outdoor

DOLORES, Colo. -- After hearing from hunters, anglers, area residents and outdoor enthusiasts, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management has decided to pursue development of a master leasing plan for new oil and gas development on public lands in southwest Colorado.

The master leasing plan, or MLP, has been proposed in Montezuma and La Plata counties and includes the gateway area to Mesa Verde National Park and archeological sites.

“The Tres Rios area has valuable wildlife habitat that includes important migratory routes, winter range as well as calving and lambing areas. It deserves the additional management protections for these areas that an MLP can provide,” said Bill Dvorak, the National Wildlife Federation’s public lands organizer in Colorado.

 

Sportsmen to presidential hopefuls: Speak up for public lands

Date: 
Mon, 09/12/2016

Sportsmen's and outdoor organizations have asked the presidential candidates of all parties to publicly support public lands.

WASHINGTON – More than 40 sportsmen’s and outdoor organizations from across the country have asked all the presidential candidates to publicly state their support for our national public lands – the places we hunt, fish and recreate and that sustain our fish and wildlife populations.

The 40 organizations, representing millions of hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers and other outdoors enthusiasts, have sent a letter earlier to Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein to ask them to publicly commit to “keeping public lands in public hands.”

“Conservation of our fish and wildlife, waterways and great landscapes is not a partisan issue: it’s an American issue.  ~ Collin O'Mara, the National Wildlife Federation president and CEO.

Read more about the organizations' statements.

Pledge support for public lands.

Industry group suit targets oil, gas reforms on public lands

By: 
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

By: 
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.

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