USA -(Ammoland.com)- Over the past 15 years, diverse stakeholders have come together to create conservation plans for 165 million acres of the Western sagebrush steppe.
These plans not only help the imperiled greater sage grouse; they also benefit sportsmen and local communities.
This unprecedented collaborative effort is tailored to state and local needs and at the same time conserves habitat that supports more than 350 species of fish and wildlife, including pronghorn, mule deer and elk.
In spite of this, the Department of the Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke have called the sage grouse conservation plans into question, suggesting less-than-optimal alternatives such as captive breeding programs and state-specific population targets.
Both lack scientific support and fail to take into account the years of effort by ranchers, sportsmen and women, industry voices, scientists, state interests, and federal agency representatives to conserve this important habitat – an effort that continues to forestall the need to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
Diminishing the current conservation strategy would be a major loss for stakeholders across the West. Speak up before Aug. 4 for the greater sage grouse and the Western sage steppe.
Tell Secretary Zinke to uphold this innovative, forward-thinking approach that serves not only sage grouse but also the entirety of the ecosystem it inhabits.
Send Secretary Zinke a message and let him know that our Sage Grouse plans should remain intact, and that collaboration in conservation should be celebrated, not denigrated.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.
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