Score another one for the sage-grouse and the American public!
Yesterday, Western Watersheds Project and our allies won a significant victory when a federal judge today overturned a 2018 Trump administration policy to sharply curtail public participation in oil and gas leasing decisions on public lands and voided nearly 1 million acres leased under the policy in Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming!
We fought hard against the policy implemented by the Bureau of Land Management in 2018 to reduce public participation opportunities in oil and gas decision-making. The intention of the policy was plain: cut the public out of the process and more quickly give away public trust resources to extractive industries. The court noted:
“BLM inescapably intended to reduce and even eliminate public participation in the future decision-making process.”
This ruling affects public lands’ sage-grouse habitat that is supposed to be protected from the impacts of fossil fuel development. The court’s order overturning the BLM’s policy applies to all 67 million acres of designated sage-grouse habitat in eleven western states and invalidates the lease transactions that occurred under the defective management scheme.
We’re determined to save the sage-grouse and the 350 other sagebrush-dependent species that depend on this ecosystem.
We won’t let short-sighted profiteers and extractive interests wreck the West.
We will keep fighting for a biodiverse future.
P.S. Please don’t forget to submit your comments on the grazing regulation revisions that would gut public participation in livestock-related decision-making on 155 million acres of public lands! Due March 6, more info here.