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


 

Western Public Lands

greater sage-grouse

NWF, affiliates: Attacks on sage-grouse conservation don't belong in defense bill

Date: 
Sun, 05/22/2016

Image: USFWS/Mountain-Prairie Region

In a repeat of last year, the U.S. House has passed the National Defense Authorization Act with unrelated environmental and wildlife provisions, including one that would block federal plans to conserve sage-grouse and its habitat -- the sagebrush steppe, which supports more than 350 species. The bill passed May 18 also contains language that would undermine the goal of keeping invasive species out the Great Lakes; block Endangered Species Act protections for the lesser prairie chicken; and transfer more half of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada to the Air Force even though the military hasn't requested the transfer. 

“Weakening protections for our nation’s fish and wildlife in a piece of legislation intended to strengthen national defense is simply unacceptable,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. 

 

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.

 

IWF adds to 70-plus-year track record of wins for sportsmen, conservation

Date: 
Thu, 02/04/2016

Incoming Idaho Wildlife Federation President Kahle Becker, left, and Michael Gibson, former IWF executive director. Image: Lew Carpenter

By Lew Carpenter, NWF Regional Representative

In 1938, the Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF) celebrated one of its first victories when it organized and circulated petitions and lobbied for the passage of an initiative establishing a professional Fish and Game Department and Fish and Game Commission.  For more than 75 years IWF has consistently delivered legislative victories for the benefit of sportsmen, sportswomen, wildlife and habitat.

Last year, IWF’s work on behalf of sportsmen and women and conservation paid off when the Boulder-White Clouds area secured congressional wilderness protection. The designation came on the heels of IWF’s strong leadership and advocacy to protect that special place through monument status, which ultimately lead to the wilderness bill. IWF led the charge through the Sportsmen for Boulder-White Clouds campaign.

“There is still work to be done in protecting the East Fork of the Salmon watershed,” Michael Gibson said. “The East Fork is the highest spawning habitat for salmon and steelhead found anywhere in the world." 

Greater sage-grouse escapes congressional funding assaults

Date: 
Wed, 12/16/2015

 

An agreement on a new federal spending bill spares greater sage-grouse conservation plans marked earlier this year at a news conference with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, other federal officials and Western governors. Image: NWF/Jack Dempsey

By Judith Kohler

The National Wildlife Federation said an agreement on a $1.15 trillion federal spending bill is good news for greater sage-grouse conservation because of what it doesn’t contain – provisions that would have derailed work to save the signature Western species and the habitat that supports more than 350 species.

 Federal lawmakers’ rejection of amendments to the proposed omnibus spending bill that could have blocked implementation of federal sage-grouse conservation plans is a boost to saving some of our country’s irreplaceable landscapes, said Aaron Kindle, the National Wildlife Federation’s Western sportsmen’s campaign manager. He noted that a 2014 NWF poll found nine out of 10 Western sportsmen support conserving sage grouse, whose numbers have been declining for decades.

 “It’s time to carry on the hard work of bringing the bird back from the brink of no return and ensuring public lands that sustain hunting, angling, recreation and local economies remain healthy,” Kindle added.

 

 

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