sage grouse

Bob Wick, BLM

The Trump administration officially released its proposal on how to manage the greater sage grouse across the Mountain West region on August 2.

Flickr Creative Commons/Julio Molero

The greater sage grouse narrowly escaped listing as an endangered species because of a 2015 federal plan that kept oil and gas drilling out of its core habitat in the eight Western states where it still exists. But a new report released Monday by the National Audubon Society, The Wilderness Society and The National Wildlife Federation, and authored by Western Ecosystem Technologies, says those obligations haven't been met under the Trump administration.

Bob Wick, BLM

The state's sage grouse stakeholder team has recommended that Gov. Mark Gordon not only keep sage grouse numbers from going down, but increase them. 

The graph lays out the difference between active leks within an oil and gas project area versus a controlled area.
Rawlins Bureau of Land Management

Oil and gas development has yet to take off in recently-expanded natural gas fields in Carbon County. The Continental-Divide Creston (CDC) project makes way for about 9,000 new wells west of Rawlins, but several years into the project, only about 50 of those are producing.

NPL Map Project Location
Bureau of Land Management eplanning

A major oil and gas project in southwestern Wyoming will begin drilling in the second half of 2019. Jonah Energy started its exploratory program this year to identify well locations within the Normally Pressured Lance project.

A greater sage-grouse male struts for a female at a lek (dancing or mating ground) near Bridgeport, CA
Jeannie Stafford / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Gov. Mark Gordon is asking for public feedback on Wyoming's executive order on sage grouse protections while he reviews the order for potential revisions.

Flickr Creative Commons/US Dept. of Interior

The U.S. has long solved environmental issues through conflict and regulation, but a former federal agriculture official said it's time for a paradigm shift that solves them through consensus. Former U.S. Agriculture Department Under Secretary Robert Bonnie will address that issue at the University of Wyoming on Thursday.

A greater sage-grouse male struts for a female at a lek (dancing or mating ground) near Bridgeport, CA
Jeannie Stafford / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Several wildlife conservation groups have filed a lawsuit in federal court to reverse amendments they say undermine an Obama-era plan to protect sage grouse.

EnergyNet's map of BLM land up for sale in the 1st quarter across the west
EnergyNet

The Bureau of Land Management ended the first quarterly oil and gas lease sale in Wyoming. It's offering nearly 150,000 acres-62 percent of that is on core sage grouse habitat.

Greater sage-grouse
Wikipedia

The Interior Department has issued its final amendments to how sage grouse habitat will be managed across the west. The record of decision (ROD) changes the 2015 land use plans that helped the iconic western bird avoid an endangered species listing.

A male Sage Grouse (also known as the Greater Sage Grouse) in the USA
Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

An environmental group sent a letter to Governor Mark Gordon asking him to intervene in last week's lease sale of some parcels of land native to sage grouse.

BLM eplanning text recounting the deadline change
Bureau of Land Management

The public is getting extra time to voice opposition for proposed changes to an Obama-era sage grouse rule. The Bureau of Land Management is extending the deadline after some technical mishaps related to the partial government shutdown.

Existing Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Management Decision Area
US Bureau of Land Management

The Interior Department just released its final proposal on sage-grouse conservation plans through six final environmental impact statements (FEIS). The iconic bird occupies 11 western states and is considered an important indicator of the overall health of the ecosystem.

A male Sage Grouse (also known as the Greater Sage Grouse) in the USA
Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from Sacramento, US

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing changes to sage grouse protections that would make it easier to develop — especially energy — on vast swaths of land where the chicken-like bird lives.

Bureau of Land Management

After seven years on the back burner, a major oil and gas development near Pinedale has completed its final step and is weeks away from drilling. Jonah Energy's Normally Pressured Lance project obtained its Record of Decision from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The project aims to construct 3,500 wells over 10 years near Pinedale, 96 percent of the project is on public land.

Bob Wick, BLM

Some western lawmakers are up in arms over a Trump administration announcement that eases the requirements for drilling near sage grouse. For now, Wyoming isn't impacted by the announcement, though that could change.

Julio Mulero

Governors around the West are expressing alarm over a new Trump administration directive that lifts a rule requiring energy companies to pay for any damage they leave behind, especially in sage grouse habitat. It’s a tool long used to keep species off the endangered species list.

Bureau of Land Management / Public Domain

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) is once again on the lookout for West Nile virus in sage grouse. The department is asking Wyoming residents to report any dead sage grouse they find, so it can be tested through the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory.

Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts commends Congress for cutting controversial riders from the NDAA during the House vote
C-SPAN

A rider that would have stopped the sage grouse from receiving an endangered species listing for the next ten years was removed from a must-pass bill. 

Hundreds of veterans are calling on Congress to scrap a seemingly unrelated attachment to this year’s defense spending bill.

The official banner for the US Senate Committee on Armed Services
US Senate Committee on Armed Services

Congress is set to begin ironing out differences in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week. The bill funds Department of Defense programs and activities. 

Screenshot of a passage Sen. Barrasso's proposed draft legislation
Environment and Public Works Committee

U.S. Senator John Barrasso is leading an effort to overhaul the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed draft legislation would give states more authority over endangered species.

Map of the NPL project location
Bureau of Land Management

A 3,500-well natural gas project has taken a step forward. The Bureau of Land Management published the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Jonah Energy's Normally Pressured Lance project in western Wyoming. The project would be on located over 140,000 acres.

Currently the sage grouse is not listed under the Endangered Species Act. And a bill before Congress  would prevent that from happening anytime in the next decade.

In a flurry of lawsuits stretching across the West, conservation groups are accusing the federal government of failing to protect a rare bird: the sage grouse. This week, the groups involved in one of those lawsuits came to a legal truce.

A male Sage Grouse (also known as the Greater Sage Grouse) in the USA
Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from Sacramento, US

A draft revision of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plans to change Obama-era sage grouse protections in Wyoming surfaced this week, even though they won’t be officially released until next month or so. The revised plan would potentially allow energy development in areas considered the bird’s best habitat, especially mature sage brush lands.

Jeannie Stafford/USFS via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

A private landowner-led organization released a report evaluating lessons learned during greater sage-grouse conservation efforts across 11 states between 2010 and 2015.

Converse, Wyoming County Map
Sperling's Best Places

An oil and gas project that would develop 5,000 new wells over 1.5 million acres of private, forest service, Bureau of Land Management, and state land in Converse County has taken a step forward. The BLM has released a draft version of the project’s environmental impact statement.

 Logo of the United States Forest Service
US Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service closed its comment period asking the public whether to reopen sage grouse conservation plans. The National Wildlife Federation found that over 120,000 comments were submitted requesting the agency to keep the plans how they are. The organization, along with several other conservation groups, analyzed the comments to come up with the number. 

Holly Copeland / The Nature Conservancy

In the first quarter of 2018, the Bureau of Land Management will place seven times more acres of sage grouse habitat on sale in Wyoming for oil and gas drilling than it did during the same time last year. Holly Copeland, conservation scientist with The Nature Conservancy, crunched the numbers.

Pages