The BLM has plans for even stricter management rules in their quest to use the sage grouse as a prop to block energy development and ranching in Colorado.
The plan isn’t public, and the officials who have had a sneak peak are forbidden from talking about it, so here’s what we know from Garfield County officials via the Daily Sentinel.
It’s very heavy-handed, does not include concerns raised by public officials, and completely ignored local and regional planning efforts. To top it off, “Draconian” requirements are being considered in habitat where the bird is not even found.
Fred Jarman, the county’s community development director, says Garfield County’s efforts were “a waste of three years of our time.”
He said when it comes to public lands issues, it feels to him like Garfield County “is a colony of the East Coast and Washington, D.C.,” with decisions being made far away just as decisions pertaining to the American colonies once were made in London.
The BLM’s not really addressing their plan publicly, however they did put out a statement talking about how much they love sagebrush habitat that supports ranching … seriously, they said ranching … and hunting. Except, we’re assuming, when we used to hunt the sage grouse.
Here’s our final clue that no good will come of the BLM’s new plan:
WildEarth Guardians said if the BLM is considering better protections for the bird, that would be a welcome development.
“We’re hoping that the BLM has markedly stronger plans in regards to oil and gas development, in regards to livestock,” as the plans pertain to protecting the bird from such impacts, he said.
This new plan will be made public in June, and in September, the Fish and Wildlife Service will announce their decision on the endangered species listing.
We’re getting a lot of support from Republicans in Congress to find alternative solution to the listings. Now would be a good time for Gov. Hickenlooper to make some noise as well.
Concerns like these are why I’ve introduced legislation empowering states to take the lead in sage-grouse protection. http://t.co/tx2xDdtzNZ
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) May 5, 2015