After a June 7 order, the Department of Interior (DOI) has worked with various organizations and task forces to review the Greater Sage Grouse conservation plan under the Endangered Species Act. On August 7, the DOI released the first set of recommendations to make modifications to the plan. Farm and ranch land owners out west in affected areas have struggled with restricted cattle grazing and stunted development abilities to farmland properties since the plan was put in place in 2015. Most just want to see a balance struck between ensuring the species does not go extinct and that their private property rights are not infringed upon by legislation that is unnecessary. Read full article.
UPDATE | 10/6/2017 The Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management announced the cancellation of a proposed withdrawal of 10 million acres of public land throughout the Intermountain West. The notice of cancellation can be found on the BLM website here.
These lands were proposed to be withdrawn as sage grouse habitat, but this massive withdrawal of public lands would have also significantly impacted the economies of communities who relied on this land for mining, grazing, timbering, etc.
NAR submitted a comment letter in 2015 expressing concerns about this public lands withdrawal and the economic impacts it would have had on communities.
The lands will continue to be managed in accordance with existing plans, programs, policies and regulations in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
Read more on Sage Grouse Management in the News in a piece by Paul Bottarri, ALC, on the RLI 2017 Government Affairs Committee.