Agency, states should not put politics over science on sage-grouse

Statement of Eric Holst, Associate Vice President of Working Lands, Environmental Defense Fund

August 7, 2017
Chandler Clay, (302) 598-7559,

(Washington, DC – August 7, 2017) The Department of the Interior today released the results of a 60-day departmental review of the federal plans for greater sage-grouse – a review initiated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s secretarial order on June 7, 2017.

“Two years ago, Republican and Democratic governors, ranchers and conservationists, industry groups and state wildlife agencies all came together outside Denver to celebrate a truly bipartisan, collaborative conservation effort for the greater sage-grouse. The decision not to list the bird under the Endangered Species Act was based on a plan that incorporated strong science on the species and its habitat requirements.

“Today, the administration’s review opens the door to significant changes to the sage-grouse plans, which could undercut the sound science used to develop those plans and jeopardize what we know the bird needs to live and thrive. Putting politics over science would only increase the likelihood of a listing in the future.

“By reopening the federal plans, we risk undermining and undoing one of the greatest collaborative conservation efforts in our nation’s history.”

-        Eric Holst, Associate Vice President of Working Lands, Environmental Defense Fund.

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