Sen. Tom Carper issued a statement March 15 reacting to the Bureau of Land Management’s issuance of Records of Decision for their amendments to the 2015 greater sage grouse conservation plans.
“Today’s decision could upend almost a decade of cooperative, bipartisan conservation efforts and eventually lead to a sage grouse Endangered Species Act listing. The 13,000 square miles removed from protective habitat designation today were initially selected for preservation in a plan crafted through a careful, science-based process. This latest favor to the oil and gas industry exposes this treasured symbol of the West to disruptive, harmful extractive operations that may imperil its long-term viability. Furthermore, industries seeking certainty will be disappointed because this decision will likely lead to costly, lengthy litigation in the courts. Science — not politics or deference to special interests — should dictate habitat management and species protection,” said Carper.