This article discusses the last Trump/Zinke twist in the effort to prevent sage listing of the greater sage grouse under ESA. While sage grouse habitat on federal lands is mostly under BLM jurisdiction, the Forest Service is also a big player, and 20 forest plans were amended in 2015 to include conservation measures that were relied on by the Fish and Wildlife Service in its decision to not list the sage grouse. Many of the laws and principles in play here also apply to other at-risk species on national forests. Here are is one principle from Republican Wyoming Governor Matt Mead that I think is especially relevant right now:
“We can’t have wholesale changes in wildlife management every four or eight years. I don’t think that is the best way to sustain populations or provide the necessary predictability to industry and business in our states.”
And then there’s this:
The oil and gas industry group Western Energy Alliance has called for action following the federal review of the sage grouse plans. The group was not one of the key players in developing the plan in Wyoming, but has been vocal on the need for changes that support energy development.
(Where have we heard complaints about something like this before?)