For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

SAGE GROUSE LAND USE PLANS AMENDMENTS: AN EPIC LAND GRAB

Federal “Not Warranted” Decision Comes at a Price Too High

 While the American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) applauds the decision not to list the Greater Sage-Grouse as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, the Land Use Plan Amendments (LUPAs) extract a price too high.

“It is disappointing that the collective efforts of the western states were rejected in favor of draconian land use restrictions and mineral withdrawals. The ‘not warranted’ determination is proof that the state and local plans, coupled with private conservation efforts are working.” said Laura Skaer, AEMA Executive Director. “We call on Secretary Jewell to explain why the states’ Sage-Grouse conservation plans were rejected in favor of the federal LUPAs, especially in view of the fact the Department of the Interior (DOI) reached a ‘not warranted’ decision without them.”

The lek buffers, disturbance caps, travel and land use restrictions, and recommended mineral withdrawals in the LUPAs will have a devastating impact on access to public lands, the economies of the western states, and the ability of our Nation to produce the strategic and critical minerals required for national defense, manufacturing and economic prosperity. “We have long thought this effort was more about ‘stop doing that’ than conserving sage-grouse and its habitat. The federal LUPAs prove we were right,” concluded Skaer.

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Downloadable PDF: 9 22 2015 SAGE GROUSE LAND USE PLANS AMENDMENTS