Sage Grouse Public Meetings Begin To Discuss Federal Changes

Nov 6, 2017

A male Sage Grouse (also known as the Greater Sage Grouse) in the USA
Credit Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wyoming’s Bureau of Land Management office is holding two public meetings this week to discuss sage grouse management plan changes. 

The Department of Interior officially re-opened discussion of the 2015 plans last month. Many have pointed out how proposed changes favor oil and gas over conservation. The agency’s notice of intent started a 45-day public comment period, where meetings just like this are being held in the relevant western states.  

Those who attend will be asked to identify issues, questions or concerns about possible changes to sage grouse plans. 

Mike McGrady, a policy advisor for Governor Matt Mead, said wholesale changes to the plans could hurt Wyoming if they result in an endangered species listing. Or that a listing is “warranted."

"The state of Wyoming has the most to lose of the other states in a warranted finding.” McGrady said, "That kind of situation imposes a lot of different controls and could create problems for development in the state.” 

He added, though, Wyoming could benefit from addressing smaller issues through this process.  

“We’re looking at potential changes to the resource management plans, policy guidance directions, instruction memorandums to make them more understandable,” McGrady said.

The first meeting will be held today in Cheyenne from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Little America Hotel. The next will be held next Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the BLM Pinedale Field Office. More information can be found here