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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.


Renewable energy bill has wide support

Tue, 11/17/2015

There is broad, bipartisan support for the Public Lands and Renewable Energy Development Act of 2015. Image: Matt Vincent

By Joel Gay, New Mexico Wildlife Federation

Although members of Congress are often divided, it was refreshing to see all five of New Mexico’s congressional delegation unanimously support bipartisan legislation that would pave the way for responsible development of renewable energy on public lands in New Mexico and throughout the West.

Hunters and anglers have always known that healthy public lands are crucial if we want strong populations of game and fish as well as a vibrant hunting and fishing industry – in New Mexico alone, that sector of the outdoor recreation economy is worth $650 million a year. It should be no surprise that sportsmen support responsible energy development on public lands, which gives us both abundant energy but also protects critical wildlife habitat and our outdoor way of life.

The Public Lands and Renewable Energy Development Act of 2015 would guarantee both goals are met. 

The path to Westerners' hearts -- and votes -- runs through public lands

Wed, 10/28/2015

Former Interior Secretary and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar urged presidential candidates to debate issues Westerners care about. Image: Judith Kohler

There’s a “Royal-Gorge-sized chasm between Coloradans” and some presidential candidates’ views on public lands, wildlife and conservation, says Ken Salazar.

The former Interior Secretary and U.S. senator was among the speakers at a news conference Tuesday who detailed what that they want to hear the candidates discuss. People in Colorado and the West care about public lands, water and wildlife, he said. And they don’t want public lands transferred to the states or sold to the highest bidders.

“Colorado voters, I know, oppose this idea,” Salazar said. “These proposals make absolutely no sense. These ideas deserve to be rejected.”

NWF: Feds’ decision on sage grouse charts course to save species & landscape

Sun, 10/18/2015


Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was joined by other federal officials and four Western governors to announce the greater sage-grouse will not be listed. Image: NWF

“What’s good for the bird is good for the herd." ~ National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O'Mara

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to give state and federal conservation efforts an opportunity to save the greater sage grouse and its habitat is the right decision for the grouse, the hundreds of other species of the sagebrush steppe and the sportsmen, wildlife enthusiasts, ranchers and local economies that depend on this Western landscape.

Sportsmen rally for sage grouse and an iconic Western landscape

Tue, 09/08/2015

Conserving sage grouse and their habitat will benefit hundreds of species. Image: Judith Kohler

DENVER  – With a decision looming on whether to federally protect the greater sage-grouse, Western sportsmen and women are reaffirming their support for plans to conserve the bird and the sagebrush lands that support hundreds of species, local economies, hunting and other outdoor traditions.

The National Wildlife Federation and members of its affiliates support conservation efforts by private landowners and state and federal agencies to rebuild sage grouse numbers and head off the need to protect the bird under the federal Endangered Species Act. A new fact sheet, “Saving the Sagebrush Sea: An Imperiled Western Legacy,” by NWF highlights wildlife dependent on the sagebrush steppe and sportsmen’s thoughts about the iconic Western landscape.

"The Bureau of Land Management’s sage-grouse plans unveiled in May along with the state plans "can be a lifeline for the species,” said Aaron Kindle, NWF's Western sportsmen's campaign manager.  “Sportsmen and women should get behind this broad-range plan. We have an obligation to ensure the future of sage grouse and the uniquely American landscape they call home, as well as the future of conservation in the West.”