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Comments on Draft BLM Resource Management Plans – Sage Grouse

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, August 3, 2018

IMA-NA filed comments on six Bureau of Land Management (BLM) draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendments and Environmental Impact Statements for Greater Sage-Grouse conservation.  It did so with respect to four RMPs (Idaho, Nevada and Northeastern California, Utah and Wyoming) in conjunction with allied mining trade associations (Idaho Mining Association, National Mining Association and Utah Mining Association) and on two RMPs (Colorado and Oregon) on its own.  Adopted in September 2015, these plans provided support for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finding that listing the Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act was not warranted.  In June 2017 Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke issues a Secretarial Order whose aim is to improve sage grouse conservation by strengthening communication and collaboration between states and the federal government, with the shared goal of conserving and protecting sage grouse and its habitat while also ensuring that conservation efforts do not impede local economic opportunities.  The order resulted in the proposals at issue.  The states of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota were not part of the proposed revision and amendment process.

IMA-NA’s comments are attached.

Download File (PDF)

 Attached Files:

Tags:  DEIS  draft Environmental Impact Statement  FWS  Greater Sage Grouse; BLM; USFS  Resource Management Plan  RMP 

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IMA-NA Comments on ESA Mitigation Policies

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, January 9, 2018

On January 5th, IMA-NA and NISA submitted comments to the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS or Service) in response to the request for comments on the Service's current Endangered Species Act (ESA) mitigation policies. The request comes as each Department and Agency is reviewing regulations to carry out President Trump's Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. The Service was specifically looking at the change in the mitigation policy under President Obama to recommend or require "net conservation gain" as the standard for mitigation plans. IMA-NA and NISA submitted comments urging the Service to remove the "net conservation gain" standard as it creates the opportunity for the costs of mitigation plans to grow exponentially without a clear outline of the limitations. Along with other industry groups we also feel the standard creates greater confusion and a lack of consistency for the implementation of mitigation programs across the country. Additionally, the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) submitted comments urging the removal of "net conservation gain" from the FWS standards because it is inconsistent with the "no net loss" standard set by the Clean Water Act section 404 permitting rules. WAC argues "net conservation gain" could greatly disrupt and delay the permitting process due to the inconsistency.

To read the IMA-NA and NISA comments click here

To read the Waters Advocacy Coalition comments click here

Tags:  comments  CWA  ESA  FWS  mitigation policy  Regulations  WAC 

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Endangered Species Coalition Lists Greater Sage Grouse as a Priority Species for Trump Administration

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 22, 2016

On Wednesday, the Endangered Species Coalition (Coalition) released it's "Top Ten” list of species in need of strong conservation measures. The report is targeted at the incoming Trump Administration as a way to influence the conservation agenda of the new President.  Despite the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Fish and Wildlife) decision in 2015 to remove the Greater Sage-Grouse from the Endangered species candidate list, the Coalition flagged Greater Sage-Grouse as a species in need of increased conservation efforts. Fish and Wildlife withdrew the Sage Grouse from consideration following the successful implementation of conservation efforts on the state level. The decision was made following the  "unprecedented conservation partnership across the western United States that [...] significantly reduced threats to the greater sage-grouse across 90 percent of the species’ breeding habitat."  The Coalition's report demonstrates a renewed interest from the environmental and conservation groups to elevate the listing of the Sage Grouse with the hope of taking millions of acres offline for development of any kind. While it is unlikely the Trump Administration would reopen the recent decision on the Sage Grouse it is important to note the species is still on the radar of conservation groups. 

To read the full report click here

Tags:  administration  conservation  Endangered Species  Fish and Wildlife  FWS  Greater Sage Grouse  regulations  sage grouse 

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Complimentary Conservation Academy Webinar TODAY - Why Bats Matter: Protection and Awareness Strategies

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, June 1, 2016

This afternoon, at 1pm EST The Wildlife Habitat Council is offering a complimentary webinar entitled, ​Why Bats Matter: Protection and Awareness Strategies. Given the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list the Northern Long Eared Bat as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act in response to the negative impact of white nose syndrome on the bat population, this webinar may provide some insight into the decision as well as proactive solutions the industry may be able to implement. The webinar will be led by McKenzie Hall, NJ DEP, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program.

Click here to register free of charge.

Tags:  esa  fws  Northern Long-Eared Bat  webinar 

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