of Congress who are enemies of imperiled species and want to privatize our
public lands are launching a new attack: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Sen. Jim
Risch (R-ID) have introduced the ironically titled “Greater
Sage Grouse Protection and Recovery Act,” (S.273, H.R.527). This bill would gravely
threaten sage grouse and our public lands. Not by blatantly handing public
lands over to pro-industry states (though Bishop and Risch wouldn’t hesitate on
that if they thought they could get away with it), but by giving those states
something better from their perspective: broad decision-making authority when
it comes to managing sage grouse on federal public lands, free from review by
the public, scientists and the courts.
The irresponsible bill would also block conservation efforts
under the Endangered Species Act and other key federal environmental laws. A
more accurate title would be the “Greater Sage Grouse Extinction Act.” Tell your elected representatives to
support sage grouse and oppose the gutting of federal environmental
This bill would undermine our most essential protections on our
federal public lands. Where state and federal sage grouse conservation plans
differ, the Bishop-Risch Extinction Act would give governors in states like
Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho control over all decisions on federal public land
management that involve sage grouse: virtually every public land decision.
State sage grouse plans have far weaker protections than federal plans, meaning
the bill would decimate safeguards for the rare dancing birds.
Worse yet, the bill would cut the
public and science out of decisions that determine the fate of our public lands.
Act today to safeguard our public lands and imperiled wildlife.
Adding further insult to injury, the
bill would block legal challenges over these decisions, meaning that state
governors could violate federal environmental laws as much as they like without
worrying that their actions could be overturned by the courts. This undermines the
very foundation of our system of government.
a phone call to your Representative and Senators and tell them to strongly
oppose this attack on greater sage grouse and our public lands. If you can’t
call, personalize this letter and make your voice heard.
For the wild,
Wildlife Program Director
photo credit: Noppadol Paothong