National Access Issues

BLM proposes changes to Sage Grouse land use plan

BLM Proposes Changes to the NV & CA Greater Sage Grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment Land Use Plan Amendment

Photo of Greater Sage Grouse courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

The BLM has recently announced an opportunity to comment on potential changes to the Proposed Plan(s) as set forth in the Greater Sage Grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment Forest Plan Amendment/Final Environmental Impact Statement. The United States Forest Service was the lead agency for preparing the environmental impact statement (EIS) and land use plan amendment. The BLM is proposing to amend the Carson City District Office Resource Management Plan (RMP) and the Tonopah Field Office RMP based on the analysis in this EIS. Public comments will be accepted through December 14, 2015.

Following release of the Final EIS and Proposed Plan, the BLM determined based on protests received and additional internal reviews that additional changes to and a clarification of the Proposed Plan was required. The clarification and changes include

  • setting disturbance caps within BSSG habitat;
  • adjusting buffers for tall structures near active or pending leks,
  • adding a restriction for new high-voltage transmission lines, and
  • additional management direction for habitat connectivity.

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Cal4Wheel braces for predicted storm over Sage Grouse

The California Four Wheel Drive Association (Cal4Wheel) today responded to the just-announced Department of Interior decision that endangered species listing for the greater sage grouse is "not warranted." 

“We believe this decision of listing is 'not warranted' is appropriate," announced John Stewart, Natural Resources Consultant for Cal4Wheel.  “However, while agency leadership is proclaiming a great victory and collaborative success story, the 'devil is in the details' and we expect to become mired in avoidable litigation.” 

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McClintock appointed chair of House Subcommittee on Federal Lands

Congress spent much of January getting itself organized. This means appointing committee members and subcommittee members as well as adopting procedural rules for each committee. This process also involves hiring new staff for the various committees.

Of particular interest to us is the fact that Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) is the new chairman of the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands, formerly known the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. (We prefer the new name.) We have worked with Rep. McClintock and his staff on a number of issues over the years and believe he has a very good understanding of our issues. He replaces Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) as subcommittee chair since Rep. Bishop has moved up to become the Chairman of the full committee. With Chairman Bishop and Subcommittee Chair McClintock, the House Resources Committee has a strong team of leaders in place and we look forward to active engagement with them over the course of the next two years.

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