In an effort to keep Sage Grouse off of the Endangered Species List, governors and appointed leaders of the 11 western states have worked on Sage Grouse Conservation plans to show the federal government that the states are capable of managing sage grouse recovery. Below is an article written by Justin Prosser of the National Mining Association (NMA). Click here to see it in its original form.
The Western Governors’ Association (WGA) last week reported strong progress in state efforts to secure and manage habitat for the sage grouse recovery and conservation, suggesting federal intervention with an Endangered Species Act (ESA) designation isn’t necessary. In a 32-page report, “2014 Sage-Grouse Inventory,” the WGA identified comprehensive conservation work undertaken by 11 Western states that should eliminate the necessity of a federal listing for the bird. Accompanied by a 101-page appendix, the report documents habitat protection measures undertaken since 2011. “The states have certainly done all that has been asked of them and all that can be done to prove to the federal government that a listing is unnecessary,” Idaho Gov. C.L. Butch Otter said.
Barrick Gold Corp. is also showing how companies’ recovery efforts obviate need for an ESA designation. The company last week concluded an innovative conservation agreement with the Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), the Bureau of Land Management and The Nature Conservancy that the agencies said will help protect thousands of acres of critical habitat for the greater sage grouse. The agreement, first proposed by the company, deposits tradable credits in a “conservation bank” each time the company improves habitat on its land. The credit can be used to mine on federal land subject to federal approval. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell praised the Barrick agreement as “the kind of creative, voluntary partnership we need.”
The FWS has until Sept. 30 to decide whether to list the bird, a decision that potentially could restrict mining, oil and gas development throughout the bird’s multi-state range.
NMA staff contact: Justin Prosser at email@example.com or (202) 463-2621.