Trump Targets Sage Grouse in Midnight Assault

WASHINGTON – In another Trump administration attempt to exploit western lands for oil and gas exploration, the Bureau of Land Management today moved to undermine critical protections for the iconic greater sage grouse. 

The following is a statement from Joshua Axelrod, Senior Advocate for the Nature program at NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council):

“With today’s move, the Trump administration’s frontal assault on the greater sage grouse continues, placing an iconic, bellwether species another step closer to disappearing from the landscape. 

“To be clear, this is about more than the sage grouse and about more than these specific lands. This is a flagrant eleventh-hour giveaway to the deadly corporate interests that are fueling runaway climate change. This month alone, the administration has acted to enable oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Refuge, the logging of old-growth trees in Alaska’s Tongass, and unrestrained mining and development in our precious national forests.”  

Today’s action follows a 2019 ruling by a federal court in Idaho that struck down the administration’s bid to roll back Obama-era conservation measures for these lands.

The Bureau’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statements pave the way for finalizing a series of management plans covering 9 million acres across six western states that, upon final issuance in 30 days, threaten the existence of six populations of the sage grouse, along with hundreds of other species. It also threatens humanity at large by exacerbating both the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis. 

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC

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