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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.
 


 

Western Public Lands

Congress

Americans won't support public-lands giveaway

Date: 
Tue, 01/03/2017

Our public lands are essential to healthy wildlife populations. Image: Judith Kohler

“We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune." ~ President Theodore Roosevelt.

By Judith Kohler

The great American conservationist and leader who made that comment about our outdoors heritage would be outraged by elected officials who could look at our national public lands and decide they’re worthless.

Yet that’s the message the U.S. House has sent with a package of rules that includes one that will clear the way for handing over national public lands to states. The change would essentially codify a lie – that loss of our public lands wouldn’t cost the nation anything. 

 

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.

 

Column: Healthy public lands = healthy economy

Date: 
Sun, 11/09/2014

The health of the outdoor recreation industry is tied to the health of public lands. Photo by Lew Carpenter

By David Dragroo

Roll Call

As the owner of a successful outdoor business, one of many such businesses in this country, I’ve become puzzled over how Congress debates public lands issues. Often the care for these resources is pitted up against “strong economies” and “more jobs”, implying support for one means denying the other. 

This is a false choice. Outdoor businesses show that healthy public lands create and sustain strong rural economies and viable jobs. As we pursue other economic activities like energy development on public lands we must make sure we balance those uses with the conservation of fish and wildlife habitat so that our outdoor economy will thrive.

Senate takes the 'Bipartisan' from the Sportsmen's Act, dooms legislation

Date: 
Fri, 07/11/2014

Photo by John Gale

The Senate voted 41-56 Thursday against cloture to end debate on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 2363), co-sponsored by Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) effectively killing the bill for this session. Many of the same cosponsors of the bill voted against it, making the Sportsmen’s Act the latest of several bipartisan measures to fall to partisan politics this legislative session.

"Today a bipartisan bill with widespread public support has been torpedoed by unrelated congressional politics," said Collin O’ Mara, the National Wildlife Federation’s president and CEO. "The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act would have secured funding for the conservation of wetlands and other wildlife habitat, and expanded hunting, fishing and other recreational opportunities on public lands." 

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