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They once roamed the West by the millions. Many hundred years later, there were less than 500,000 left. But Americans weren't going to let them disappear — instead, an unusual coalition banded together to protect the iconic greater sage-grouse. Ranchers, conservationists, state and federal wildlife agencies, local governments and even industry groups worked together with the federal Bureau of Land Management to create a multi-state, science-based plan to revive the dwindling greater sage-grouse populations.
But the plans have not been given the time they need to work. Now, Secretary Zinke is putting it all at risk, proposing weakening or eliminating these groundbreaking conservation efforts.
Don't let that happen: Speak out today, and tell the Department of Interior to do their job, and ensure the greater sage-grouses continued survival.
Dear Secretary Zinke,
The greater sage-grouse is an icon of the American West. And when their numbers dwindled, Western governors crossed party lines to join together, along with ranchers and biologists, industry groups and state wildlife agencies, local government leaders and others, to implement innovative, cost-effective solutions to save this bird and keep it off the Endangered Species List.
If the plans are significantly altered or rescinded, the Americans that have led sage-grouse conservation efforts will be left to deal with great uncertainty and risk. Landowner-led efforts would be disrupted, including revenue-earning opportunities. Millions of dollars invested in sage-grouse conservation programs would be held up. Robust agriculture and energy industries would lose the clear and consistent standards they rely on to operate and to confidently plan for the future. And outdoor recreation and tourism sectors that benefit from roughly $1 billion a year in economic output driven by sage-grouse habitat would suffer, including countless jobs and livelihoods.
In short, attacking these standards puts Americans in the West at risk. Please do not weaken or repeal any elements of sage-grouse protections.