March 10, 2016
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead has directed the Attorney General’s Office to intervene in support of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho by Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Prairie Hills Audubon Society challenging these land management plans directed at Wyoming’s Greater Sage-Grouse Core Area Protection strategy, which is embodied in Executive Order 2015-4.
“Wyoming’s proactive approach to protect Greater sage-grouse and its habitat is effective,” said Governor Mead. “This lawsuit is another indication that the Endangered Species Act needs fixed. Successful conservation efforts are challenged instead of celebrated.”
In its “not warranted” listing determination the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service found: “The Wyoming Plan has been in place for 8 years, and has demonstrated its conservation value by protecting areas identified as important to sage-grouse conservation.” And further, “The adoption of the Wyoming Plan into Federal land plans provides additional assurances that protections of Core Areas will be achieved on all lands, regardless of land ownership.”
“For more than a decade Wyoming has engaged in the largest single-species conservation effort ever undertaken,” continued Governor Mead. “We worked directly with the energy industry, agriculture, sportsmen and conservationists to develop the conservation plan. These efforts have resulted in a model for developing wildlife conservation. That model balances the needs of Greater sage-grouse and its habitat while minimizing adverse effects on the economy of the State of Wyoming.”