Leaked memos on BLM plans to manage the sage grouse shows Colorado and other western states have much to fear with government plans to
choke manage grazing, energy, mining and other activities on public lands.
Greenwire released the documents they obtained on Wednesday, that were passed around during a meeting of western governors last month in Denver, some of which showed what the feds plan to do if grazing cattle eats too much grass that feds want preserved so grouse can hide their eggs — shorten the grazing season or mandate fewer grazing cows.
These are only draft documents, the BLM assured Greenwire, which means this is exactly what they are planning to do.
The BLM said these plans will be discussed at stakeholder meetings including Grand Junction, but judging by the Daily Sentinel article on that meeting this week, these plans were not shared.
There was no discussion in Grand Junction of the magic thresholds that must be met on grouse populations, or else the feds will crack down on grazing.
While livestock grazing is the most pervasive land use within sage grouse habitat, FWS does not consider it among the top threats facing the bird. But intensive grazing can reduce the height of the grasses and broad-leafed plants that sage grouse need to eat and find cover from predators. Range improvements like fences and water wells, if not properly planned and sited, can also tarnish an area’s suitability for grouse.
There was no mention in the article of the magic threshold Colorado ranchers must achieve, but in Nevada, the grass must remain seven inches tall.
Just what we need, a bunch of environmentalists trudging across the range in their Birkenstocks with measuring sticks. And you know they will.
The draft memo says that if grazing does not met federal standards, grazing permits would be rewritten to put cattle on diets.
Several states are suing the BLM over the sage grouse plan. Colorado is not one of those states.