The Western Energy Alliance released a report this week on sage grouse protection measures used by the oil and gas industry. Though the report claims that the industry is doing enough to protect grouse, a local conservationist disagrees.
Erik Molvar is a biologist and campaign director with WildEarth Guardians. He says that the Bureau of Land Management’s own research disputes the WEA findings.
“The fact of the matter is, that if you look at the scientific studies done in the Pinedale anticline field, and the Jonah field, and the Powder River Coal Bed methane fields, they all tell a single story, and that is: the regulations that are out there today are a recipe for extinction for Sage grouse,” he asserted.
The protection measures cited in the WEA report include seasonal land use restrictions and noise reduction methods. Molvar says that if oil and gas companies continue self-managing sage grouse habitat, the grouse population will decline and ultimately require federal protection.