Historic conservation effort undercut by agency rollback of grouse plans

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

September 28, 2017
Chandler Clay, (302) 598-7559, cclay@edf.org

(Washington, DC – September 28, 2017) The U.S. Department of the Interior is expected this week to publish a formal notice of intent to amend the federal plans for the imperiled greater sage-grouse.

“Reopening the federal sage-grouse plans is a huge step back for the countless and diverse stakeholders who came together to forge the plans over many years.

“Undoing the sage-grouse plans would have significant negative consequences on the ground, disrupting landowner-led conservation currently underway, and creating great uncertainty for industries, states and other stakeholders across the sagebrush landscape.

“Uncertainty is the enemy to the robust agriculture and energy industries of the West that rely on clear and consistent standards to operate and to confidently plan for the future. Weakening the plans in any way will also create uncertainty for the historic and long-planned state and stakeholder-led conservation efforts that resulted in the ‘not warranted’ decision to keep the sage-grouse off the Endangered Species Act two years ago. Reopening the plans increases the likelihood of the grouse being listed in the near future, putting livelihoods, industries and wildlife at great risk.

“EDF will continue to engage with the majority of concerned stakeholders who are committed to maintaining the solid foundation of the existing sage-grouse plans. We will continue to work collaboratively to ensure that the integrity of the plans remains in place to serve wildlife, communities, and the economy.”

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

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