Last Chance to #SaveGrouse

Last Chance to Save Grouse
Photo courtesy of: Thomas Barnes, US FWS.

The protest period has closed on this action. Here is the protest that we filed on the greater sage-grouse plan amendments along with other environmental non-profits.


On December 6, the Bureau of Land Management released plans to roll back greater sage-grouse habitat protections in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and California, opening more than 80% of the bird’s most critical habitat to development and oil and gas leases.

This plan completely discards a hard-won 2015 compromise to keep it from being listed under the Endangered Species Act by implementing other protections and ignores the comments of over half a million Americans who repeatedly asked that the 2015 plans be implemented.

In Colorado, the plan will open hundreds of thousands of acres of important sage grouse habitat to oil and gas leasing and development, putting sage-grouse at risk.  

We have until January 3 to weigh in on these plans before they’re finalized.

Protesting and Standing

Since this is a protest period rather than a comment period, the BLM will only consider the protests of people they consider to have standing and have already participated in this process by filing comments back in August.

If you are a member of Rocky Mountain Wild, you can assert that Rocky Mountain Wild filed comments on behalf of its members (see comments here) and voice your opposition to this short-sighted action by submitting a personal protest. Make sure to identify how you will be harmed by this mismanagement of our public lands. Of course, Rocky Mountain Wild will be protesting on behalf of our members, but the more voices the BLM hears from the better. A member of Rocky Mountain Wild is someone who has donated any amount of money, even $1, so you can easily become a member here.

All protests must be in writing and filed with the BLM Director, either as a hard copy or electronically via BLM’s ePlanning website by the close of the protest period. All protest letters sent via fax or e-mail will be considered invalid unless a properly filed protest is also submitted.

If you aren’t a member of Rocky Mountain Wild and didn’t comment on the plan in August, but still want to express your opposition to the plan, consider tweeting your objections or using the talking points below to write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

To file electronically, go to the individual state and click on “Submit Protest.” We suggest composing your protest in a Word Doc and copy/pasting as these links do time out:

Colorado online ePlanning website
Idaho online ePlanning website
Nevada / Northeastern California online ePlanning website
Oregon online ePlanning website
Utah online ePlanning website
Wyoming online ePlanning website

Hard copy protests must be mailed to one of the following addresses, postmarked by the close of the protest period:

Regular Mail:
Director (210)
Attention: Protest Coordinator, WO-210
PO Box 71383
Washington DC 20024-1383

Non-USPS Delivery Service:
Director (210)
Attention: Protest Coordinator, WO-210
20 M St SE, Room 2134LM
Washington DC 20003

Talking Points

Here are some great talking points for your protest (from The Wilderness Society, with some modifications to focus on Colorado). To ensure that your protests are considered, be sure to use your own words and not copy/paste these talking points. For more information about that, check out our Writing Comments That Stick (PDF) resource (En Español).

Talking points specific to the plan: 

Talking points about the process: 

General taking points about greater sage-grouse from The Wilderness Society and The Pew Charitable Trusts: 

Tweet Your Objections

Even if you don’t have standing to protest, you can still help the cause by making people aware of the situation. Here are some sample tweets from The Wilderness Society:

Resources

“The BLM deletes information on the endangered sage grouse, just ahead of public comment period.” Pacific Standard Magazine. December 21, 2018.

“Trump Drilling Plan Threatens 9 Million Acres of Sage Grouse Habitat.” The New York Times. December 6, 2018.

“US to Ease Oil Drilling Controls in Colorado Protecting Sage Grouse.” KUNC. December 6, 2018.