WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the following statement on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) publishing of a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) of proposed changes to sage grouse management plans in Wyoming.
“Wyoming has been the leader on sage grouse conservation efforts for years,” said Barrasso. “I appreciate that the Department of the Interior has worked with Governor Mead and other Wyoming local leaders in this process. I will review this draft environmental impact statement and will continue to work with the agency, so a solution can be reached that is best for the people of Wyoming and the sage grouse.”
BLM will accept public comment on the draft EIS, as well as the specific planning issues, the cumulative effects analysis, and the Priority Habitat Management Area decisions, through Aug. 2, 2018. BLM will hold public meetings during the public comment period. The BLM expects to publish final EIS and plan amendments by October of 2018.
On Dec. 21, 2017, Barrasso sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to call on the Department of the Interior to work closely with the state of Wyoming on sage grouse management. In the letter, Barrasso emphasizes that Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and experts from the state have proven their ability to manage the species and should play a central role as Interior assesses their future management strategy. He writes, “As you continue to evaluate how best to engage in future habitat conservation, I urge you to work closely with Governor Mead and experts from the state of Wyoming who have proven their ability to successfully manage sage grouse.”