MTPR

Sage Grouse

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality opened a 30-day public comment period Tuesday for a proposed major revision at Spring Creek Coal Mine in southeast Montana. The revision could allow about 72 million tons of coal to be mined.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Conservation groups are asking a federal judge to block the Trump administration from easing restrictions on energy companies that were meant to protect a struggling Western bird species.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project, Prairie Hills Audubon Society and two other groups made the request Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho.

Greater sage-grouse.
USFWS

The Trump Administration today finalized plans that will open millions of acres in the West to oil and gas development and strip protections for a struggling greater sage-grouse.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration moved forward Thursday with plans to ease restrictions on oil and natural gas drilling, mining and other activities across millions of acres in the American West that were put in place to protect an imperiled bird species.

Land management documents released by the U.S. Interior Department show the administration intends to open more public lands to leasing and allow waivers for drilling to encroach into the habitat of greater sage grouse.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

The federal government’s most recent sage grouse public comment period wrapped up Thursday.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed tweaking conservation plans that were hammered out back in 2015. That’s unnerved some of the people and groups who were involved in that process.

Forest Service Proposes Changes To Sage Grouse Protections

Jun 20, 2018
Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service proposed changes Wednesday to sage grouse protections in six Western states that call for eliminating special designations for crucial habitat as well as keeping areas open for mining.

The agency also said restrictions on water development for livestock will be removed as will other requirements that could limit some livestock grazing.

Trump Proposes Easing Oil, Gas Leasing Restrictions In West

May 2, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to ease restrictions on oil and gas leasing and other activities across a huge swath of the American West that were enacted to protect a declining bird species.

Interior Department officials on Wednesday released a draft of their proposed changes to conservation plans for the greater sage grouse in seven states.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmental groups sued the Trump administration on Monday for selling oil and gas leases on huge swaths of Western public lands while allegedly ignoring policies meant to protect an imperiled bird.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity asked a federal judge in Idaho to reverse lease sales totaling 475 square miles (1,230 square kilometers) in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.

Greater sage-grouse.
USFWS

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said today he is ordering a review of federal efforts to conserve the imperiled sage grouse. Zinke says he wants to ensure that officials in 11 Western states where the bird lives are fully consulted.

US Considers Mining Limits In West To Save Sage Grouse

Dec 29, 2016
Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

DENVER (AP) — The Obama administration offered five possible plans Thursday for limiting mining on federal land in the West to protect the vulnerable greater sage grouse, but it isn't saying which it prefers.

The options range from banning new mining activity on about 15,000 square miles for up to 20 years to imposing no additional restrictions on mine locations.

Pages