Enviromental group says coal-to-oil plant would decimate sage grouse

Feb 9, 2012

A plant that will turn coal into gasoline might be coming to Medicine Bow, and officials from the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance say it could have devastating effects on the area’s sage grouse.

“This big industrial facility is going to get plopped down right in the middle of this sage grouse habitat, and it’s going to wipe out some of the most populous sage grouse leks in the state,” said Erik Molvar, who heads the BCA. “And the sage grouse populations are going to decline.”

Molvar expects to see the sage grouse population disappear entirely within a two- or three-mile radius of the plant.

“Sage grouse are so sensitive that you can have a facility two or three miles away having a negative effect on sage grouse,” he said. “And so tens of thousands of acres of sage grouse habitat that’s going to be depopulated.”

He says it’s almost impossible to successfully relocate the birds.