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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

Interior Department

Interior launches needed review of federal coal program

Date: 
Mon, 05/30/2016

The Black Thunder coal mine in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. Image: EcoFlight

CASPER, Wyo. -- The National Wildlife Federation and its state affiliates have joined other sportsmen's and conservation organizations in urging the Interior Department to modernize its federal coal program for the good of wildlife, conservation and the public.

Federal officials are reviewing the program to ensure a fair return to U.S. taxpayers, require that mined land is reclaimed before more public land is leased, improve reclamation standards and provide funding to restore wildlife habitat.

The Bureau of Land Management held public meetings across the country as part of the assessment of the federal coal program in what would be the first update of regulations in more than 30 years.

“As more coal companies declare bankruptcy and struggle to cover costs, American taxpayers face the risk of getting stuck with the bill to reclaim the growing backlog of disturbed land, much of it in the heart of important wildlife habitat. Now more than ever, it is time for coal leasing reform on our public lands: our fish and wildlife depend on it; our workers depend on it; and our way of life depends on it." ~ Brenda Lindlief Hall, NWF coal program coordinator.

 

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

Date: 
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.

BLM seeks comments on fair return for publicly owned coal

Date: 
Sun, 08/30/2015

Proponents of changes to the federal coal program spoke in a recent hearing in Denver. Image: Judith Kohler

The Interior Department said it wanted to hear from the public about the best ways to ensure that the public get a fair return on publicly owned coal and the public turned out to have its say. Hundreds of people seeking a fair share for the public spoke at meetings in Washington and throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

The Bureau of Land Management is taking comments on proposed updates of the federal coal program until Sept. 17 at blm_wo_coal_comments@blm.gov

 

 

 

 

Sportsmen to BLM: Better planning means better balance on public lands

Date: 
Mon, 09/29/2014

Hunting, angling and outdoor recreation are important to local economies throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Photo by Judith Kohler

DENVER – Sportsmen are urging the Bureau of Land Management to chart a more effective and efficient course for the future of land use planning as the agency holds a series of meetings as part of the revision of its current planning process.

In the coming days, two public listening sessions will be convened by the BLM on its initiative dubbed “Planning 2.0,” a way to “improve our land use planning process so that we can more effectively plan across landscapes at multiple scales and be more responsive to environmental and social change," according to the agency. The meetings will take place in Denver on Oct. 1 and in Sacramento, California, on Oct. 7.

The Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development coalition underscored the need for the BLM to use this opportunity to implement a better land use decision process that will benefit not only the agency but also public lands stakeholders, including hunters, anglers and outdoor-dependent businesses.

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