James Hicks: Leave sage grouse plan alone | SteamboatToday.com

James Hicks: Leave sage grouse plan alone

The Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke should leave the 2015 greater sage grouse plans alone. Nearly a decade of collaborative work by disinterested groups in Colorado and Gov. John Hickenlooper resulted in a good compromise. Colorado Plan in 2015 decidedto conserve the greater sage grouse in Northwest Colorado. This plan, in conjunction with similar plans in other western states, led U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine the greater sage grouse no longer warranted becoming listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The following is the 2015 Colorado Plan, represented by the “No Action Alternative.”

• Continue prioritizing oil and gas leasing outside of priority greater sage grouse habitat. Keep strong standards for enforcing “no surface occupancy” and other protections from oil and gas leasing and development in priority sage grouse habitat.

• Honor Colorado’s commitment to ensure damage to habitat is limited and, where damage can’t be avoided, Bureau of Land Management has an obligation to avoid and mitigate harm to wildlife from energy development and other activities in grouse habitat.

• Keep the 2015 Colorado Plan intact by not making changes beyond those supported by the state and the broadly diverse stakeholders who worked years to develop the 2015 plan.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

There continues to be an erosion of environmental plans and a lack of public input into Department of Interior planning under Zinke’s leadership.

James Hicks

Steamboat Springs 

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