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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.
 


 

Colorado Public Lands Day: A Simple, Beautiful Idea

Date: 
Fri, 05/13/2016

Coloradans have a new day to recognize the value of the state's public lands. Image: Aaron Kindle

By Aaron Kindle, National Wildlife Federation

The Colorado legislature recently passed Senate Bill 21, which marks the third Saturday in May as Public Lands Day here in Colorado. The bill, the first of its kind in the nation, will help Coloradans and others from around the nation and the world celebrate and give credit to the key factor that makes Colorado so great – public lands! 

What a beautiful concept that we who hold these lands dear will simply give thanks for having these magnificent lands to behold, enjoy, and protect for now and forever so that many generations from now, others will be able to enjoy these same treasures. 

Sportsmen's groups praise Colorado Public Lands Day

Date: 
Tue, 05/10/2016

The Colorado General Assembly has passed a bill creating an annual Public Lands Day. Image: Aaron Kindle

By Randy Scholfield, Trout Unlimited

DENVER – A coalition of sportsmen’s groups today praised the Colorado General Assembly’s passage Friday of a Colorado Public Lands Day bill, SB 21, which designates the third Saturday in May each year to recognize the importance of public lands in the state. The bill has been sent to Gov. Hickenlooper, who is expected to sign it into law.

“It is wonderful that Colorado is acknowledging in bipartisan fashion how valuable and important America’s public lands are to its residents by being the first state to designate a Public Lands Day,” said Tyler Baskfield, Colorado Sportsmen Coordinator for Trout Unlimited. 

 

NWF, affiliates: Let sage-grouse conservation plans work

Date: 
Wed, 04/27/2016

Greater sage-grouse number fewer than a half million across the West. Image: NWF

DENVER -- The National Wildlife Federation and its Western state affiliates strongly oppose a provision in the defense bill that would do nothing to improve national security but would derail efforts to conserve the greater sage-grouse and the sagebrush steppe.

In a letter sent April 26 to the House Committee on Armed Services, the organizations detailed the problems with a section in the National Defense Authorization Act that would block plans to conserve sage grouse across the West. 

The organizations noted the conservation plans approved by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service were developed with input from states and private landowners. 

"We simply cannot afford any roadblocks, especially with all the work, collaboration and momentum we have toward conserving this iconic bird and the sagebrush landscape, which is so important to our local economies and activities our communities rely on, like ranching and recreation," says Joy Bannon, field director for the Wyoming Wildlife Federation.

 

Sportsmen fend off public-land grabs, but more work remains

Date: 
Wed, 04/27/2016

Sportsmen have helped defeat public-land-grab bills across the West. Image: Aaron Kindle

By Aaron Kindle, National Wildlife Federation

The pro public lands transfer movement is shaking its collective head in agony after yet another losing year in state legislatures across the country. On the other hand sportsmen, outdoor enthusiasts, business owners, and lovers of public lands are taking a moment celebrate the defeat of these bills while also preparing to hold the legislators accountable for their actions. 

Despite being soundly defeated in 2015, and receiving the clear message that citizens of all stripes adamantly oppose public lands being transferred to states, the ideological pro-transfer crowd again used their misguided allies in state legislatures to introduce more bad bills in 2016. 

Fortunately for all of us who love and rely on public lands as the backbone to our communities, economies, and traditions, very few of these bills even got a hearing, much less passed out of the respective legislatures. We showed up in droves every time legislators proposed a bad bill, every time proponents were given the floor to promote the folly of public land transfer, and we flooded the newspapers and airwaves at every decisive moment.

The result was a sound defeat, but the work is not done.

 

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