Posted on March 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Sage grouse don’t much like these drilling rigs.
Wyoming greater sage-grouse populations down 60 percent in last few years
FRISCO — Conservation advocates say proposed new oil and gas leases on 89,000 acres in northwestern Wyoming would devastate greater sage-grouse in the region by permitting industrial operations in some of the birds’ most important nesting and rearing habitat.
In a comment letter to the federal government, the Center for Biological Diversity wrote that, even sage grouse have declined 60 percent over six years in Wyoming, the plan repeatedly ignores federal scientists’ recommendations for protecting these prairie birds from fossil fuel development. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: fracking, Greater sage-grouse, oil and gas, public lands, Wyoming | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Adaptive management and good mitigation can help greater sage-grouse survive the fracking tsunami. Photo via USGS.
Scientists tout adaptive management approach to sage-grouse conservation
FRISCO — When it comes to greater sage-grouse nesting areas, no disturbance is best, but carefully planned mitigation measures can help boost nest survival.
Minimizing disturbance to sagebrush is important, and the single biggest factor found to boost nest survival is locating wastewater treatment facilities away from drilling sites, scientists said last week, releasing results of a multi-year study in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: biodiversity, conservation, endangered species, fracking, Greater sage-grouse, Wyoming | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Greater sage-grouse need tall grass for nesting. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Study shows livestock grazing a key factor in greater sage-grouse decline
FRISCO — A new study by sage grouse scientists confirms that the height of grass cover in nesting habitat is a key factor in determining greater sage grouse nest success.
The findings suggest that better grazing management is needed to protect the threatened birds. Cattle eat native vegetation that sage grouse require for hiding their nests from predators. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Great Basin, Greater sage-grouse, livestock grazing | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
More political wrangling over greater sage-grouse. Photo courtesy USGS.
Ranching loopholes proposed
FRISCO — In the West, many eyes are on a defense spending bill pending in Congress, which may include amendments that would exempt ranchers from regulations aimed at protecting greater sage-grouse and potentially strip agencies of funding for sage grouse conservation.
With a little lobbying, the western livestock industry managed to attached the Grazing Improvement Act” into the bill (§3023). Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Environment, Greater sage-grouse, ranching loopholes, sagegrouse grazing exemptions | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 24, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Greater sage-grouse need buffer zones to reduce impacts from human activities. Photo via USGS.
New USGS report details conservation needs of dwindling western birds
FRISCO — It may seem like there are a lot of wide open spaces remaining in the interior West, but when you add up impacts from roads, highways and pipelines; oil, gas, wind and solar energy development; tall structures such as electrical, communication and meteorological towers, it’s just too much for sage grouse.
The birds — at the heart of a classic endangered species political battle, need quiet areas to breed and fledge their chicks. In most cases, they seem to need at least a three-mile buffer from the most impactful activities, the U.S. Geological Survey concluded in a new report. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, fracking, Greater sage-grouse, sage grouse buffers | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Greater sage-grouse. Photo courtesy USFWS.
Dwindling birds caught in a tangled web of science and politics
FRISCO — Just a couple of weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $25 million in funding for greater sage-grouse conservation in California and Nevada, the federal government took another step in the long-running process to protect the dwindling birds by launching a new website.
Coordinated by three U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service information specialists, the new site emphasizes the collaborative nature of the conservation effort to protect the birds and their oft-overlooked sage-steppe habitat.
The scruffy badlands that stretch patchily between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada may look empty, but there’s more than meets the eye, the USFWS explains on the new site’s intro page. Sage may dominate big slices of the landscape, but the ecosystem is threatened because not much of it is protected. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Colorado, endangered species, Greater sage-grouse, Gunnison Sage Grouse, wildlife | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
While Republican lawmakers play election-year politics, sage grouse are going extinct
Western Republicans looking to strip protections for dwindling species
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A group of right wing western lawmakers want to kill federal protections for dwindling sage grouse for at least 10 years with a proposed law that would specifically prevent the iconic birds from being listed as threatened or endangered under federal law.
Using the twisted Orwellian doublespeak that’s become common in anti-environmental GOP circles, the proposed bill is called the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act — which would strip federal biologists of their authority to make an accurate, science-based determination about the status of the birds. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, Colorado, Cory Gardner, endangered species, Environment, Greater sage-grouse, Gunnison Sage Grouse | 1 Comment »