PLNR-04-1-Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation

WHEREAS the Greater Sage Grouse’s current range extends across eleven states (California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming).  These states have various local/grass roots Sage-Grouse Conservation Plans that exist or are in progress throughout the country; and

WHEREAS due to a 2010 settlement of a lawsuit between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and environmental organizations, BLM completed two range-wide sage grouse conservation plan EIS documents in 2015; and

WHEREAS Colorado counties, conservation districts, and stakeholder groups experienced participation in the EIS document until Washington BLM and Department of Interior made substantial changes to the grouse plans without consultation with those stakeholders who helped develop the plans.

WHEREAS many natural resources use in western Colorado have traditionally occurred and will continue to occur in sage grouse habitat;

WHEREAS the Secretary of the Interior issued Secretarial Order 3353 which began a process whereby Department of Interior asked each state to revise the previously mentioned Sage Grouse EIS’s.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 opposes listing the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act and urges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to utilize locally developed, and biologically and economically defensible, Sage Grouse Conservation Plans across the West to manage sage grouse and sage grouse habitat rather than invoke the Endangered Species Act.

CLUB 20 supports incentive-based assurances and encourages consideration of these assurances before additional regulation is considered and/or implemented.

CLUB 20 recommends BLM meaningfully consider local government concerns and locally developed sage grouse management plans while revising the Greater Sage Grouse EIS.

CLUB 20 requests all federal, state, and local grouse management plans recognize that in addition to addressing habitat issues, all sage grouse plans must completely address the five (5) ESA listing factors:

  • Present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range.
  • Over-utilization for commercial, recreational, scientific or educational purposes
  • Disease or predation
  • Authorities and inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms
  • Other natural or man-made factors affecting its continued existence

CLUB 20 requests all conservation plans are flexible and outcome-based, focusing on adaptable management to achieve end products rather than process-oriented outcomes.

CLUB 20 believes and the soon to be revised sage grouse EIS’s should work in cooperation with existing land uses to manage sage grouse and sage grouse habitat. Due to interdependence between varying land uses, it is imperative that sage grouse management does not take an overriding role and is balanced with existing land uses.  Successful grouse conservation is dependent upon the mutual wellbeing of the human communities that live in western Colorado.  Sage grouse conservation goals must sustain the social, cultural, and economic lives of the citizens of western Colorado, as grouse and humans are mutually dependent upon the habitat.

CLUB 20 encourages the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Commission and Division of Parks and Wildlife (DPW) to adequately fund and prioritize the completion and monitoring of the statewide Sage Grouse Conservation Plan and local plans where CPW participates.

CLUB 20 encourages the Secretary of Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, and Congress to devote funding and direct grants to state and local entities to assist in implementation of Greater Sage Grouse Conservation Plans across the West, including adequate and approved predator control if deemed necessary and appropriate by local conservation plans. Habitat restoration

CLUB 20 recommends that ‘Safe Harbor” type protections be extended to all public land users that benefit sage-grouse management. Safe harbor protections should protect the investments by public land users to improve habitat and species, and assure they are not negated by an administrative change in policy or agreements.

CLUB 20 urges federal agencies to cooperate with private landowners to manage Greater Sage Grouse habitats by promoting and entering in to voluntary stewardship contracts or other types of incentive-based assurances that allow and encourage landowners to aid in the management of sage-grouse populations across the West (private landowners provide crucial nesting and chick-rearing habitat integral to grouse survival on federal lands).

CLUB 20 recommends locally adapted and ‘common sense’ best management practices regarding sage grouse be used by all land users in sage grouse habitat.

When acceptable to the landowner, CLUB 20 recommends speedy exchanges of like value between public and private lands for the protection of Lek areas of Sage-grouse.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 demands state and federal agencies to directly address predation issues in their management plans.

 

Adopted September 10, 2004

Amended September 7, 2012

Amended September 8, 2017

 

**Formerly 04-9 NR