Department of Interior Releases Greater Sage Grouse Conservation Report
August 11, 2017
This week, Department of Interior Secretary Zinke released a report on sage grouse conservation and cooperation with Western states. The report outlines the recommendations from the 11 Western states with sage grouse habitat and Department of Interior staff; aiming to improve sage grouse conservation, ensure state and federal programs are complimentary and explore plan modifications with economic growth and job creation in mind.
The American Sheep Industry Association and the Public Lands Council were pleased to see that the report acknowledges the need for a more collaborative approach between grazing permittees and federal leadership. Specifically, the report acknowledges that proper livestock grazing management is not only compatible with conserving grouse habitat, but that it may support or benefit habitat management.
Recommendations include revising policy to prioritize grazing permit renewals in areas where there are known impacts to sage grouse habitat and ensuring that policies recognize the role of proper grazing management to address threats to sage grouse habitat. The American Sheep Industry has long supported the fact that livestock grazing reduces fuel load and noxious weeds while maintaining open space, critical factors for improving sage grouse and wildlife habitat.
The Secretary’s memo to Deputy Secretary Bernhardt and the full report is available at: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/so3353_memo_coverletter_report_080717.pdf