LAS VEGAS - A Trump era decision to open up 10 million acres in Nevada and Idaho to industrial mining was dealt a critical blow today after a judge ruled the Bureau of Land Management under President Trump failed to justify the arbitrary recension of its previous proposal that would have protected vital habitat for the threatened avian species.
The decision means protections for this particular swathe of sage grouse habitat are likely here to stay, and the BLM will now have the opportunity to redetermine appropriate protections for the sagebrush land. Sage Grouse, however, are still on the decline throughout their territory, which once spanned hundreds of millions of acres across the west. Their strong sensitivity to their environment results in sage grouse numbers declining rapidly in the face of habitat fragmentation and resource development.
Environment Nevada State Director Levi Kamolnick issued the following statement in response: The charismatic sage grouse is among the most beautiful and curious creatures to roam our state. These protections mean vital habitat to sustain the greater sage grouse won't be traded for oil and fracked gas to further pollute our environment. It's critical that we continue to support the biodiversity of the desert and ensure that species such as the sage grouse continue to have their land necessities met. We look forward to working with BLM to ensure that the proposal to protect this habitat meets the needs of the sage grouse and other wildlife that call the sagebrush home."