Interior Secretary Zinke Threatens Unilateral Action to Destroy Sage Grouse Conservation Agreement Covering 11 Western States

Washington –  The iconic sage grouse is facing an uncertain future due to a Secretarial Order issued tonight by Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to “review” the 2015 landmark conservation plan protecting the bird and its western habitat.

Years in the making, the conservation plan to protect the sage grouse was crafted with the input of Western state governors, private landowners, sportsmen and women, conservation groups, scientists, energy representatives, and more to protect the bird and the “sagebrush sea” habitat, which stretches from Utah to Montana.

Following is a statement by Bobby McEnaney, Deputy Director of the Western Renewable Energy Project of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Secretary Zinke has found a new way to imperil the sage grouse: through executive action.  Forget climate change, expanding land developments, or ongoing impacts from the fossil fuel industry. By single-handedly upending this agreement, Secretary Zinke might just have landed the decisive blow to the sage grouse, and the unique sagebrush habitat of the American West.”


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