The Bureau of Land Management has released its final greater sage-grouse supplemental environmental impact statements for Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada/northeastern California and Oregon.

These documents supplement the 2019 amendments made by the administration to the National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy which were enjoined by a court pending a decision on the merits.

Jim Lyons, vice president for landscape conservation for Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement:

“Once again, the Trump administration is circumventing sound science and years of collaborative work in their last-ditch effort to issue inadequate plans for protecting the imperiled greater sage-grouse. This administration has continued to prioritize oil and gas leasing over habitat conservation, emboldened by a congressional rider that prevents the FWS from listing the bird as threatened or endangered even as sage-grouse populations continue to decline.  It’s time to lift the rider from appropriations language and let science, not politics, dictate the best way to protect this iconic bird and the Sagebrush ecosystems on which it – and hundreds of other species – depends.”


  • In 2015, the Obama administration designed a conservation strategy for the bird that included 98 amendments to federal land use plans that limited development in important sage-grouse habitat and required mitigation that would result in a net conservation gain for the grouse. The plans, along with complementary conservation commitments by affected states and localities, served as the foundation for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s conclusion that listing the Greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act was not warranted. 
  • In March 2019, the Trump administration rolled back protections to the sage-grouse by revising the Obama sage-grouse plans. The rollbacks were challenged in court, and in October 2019 a federal judge blocked implementation of the 2019 plan amendments until litigation is resolved. 

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Rebecca Bullis
Rebecca Bullis
Communications Associate
(202) 772-0295


Washington, DC

International Conferences Canceled, Leaving Species with Less Protections

As with many events worldwide in 2020, the conferences that create stronger international wildlife policies have been canceled too. These cancelations mean that imperiled wildlife will have to wait another year for new recommendations, measures, and decisions when a million species are already under threat of extinction and have yet to receive protection.
Anchorage, AK

Groups Praise Army Corps Denial of Pebble Mine Permit, Call for Lasting Protections

Groups advocating for the protection of Bristol Bay waterways, salmon, and communities applaud the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision today to deny a Clean Water Act permit for the proposed Pebble mine.