BLM Opens 9 Million Acres of Sage Grouse Habitat for Drilling and Mining

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) amended six resource management plans (RMPs) in the western U.S. to remove protections for the sage grouse. The revisions lift restrictions on mineral development on approximately 9 million acres of sage grouse habitat, opening these areas for oil and gas leasing and other extractive uses. Thee protections that are now being lifted were critical to the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)’s 2015 determination that the sage grouse was not threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

This is the largest action undertaken by the Trump administration to date to open federal lands for fossil fuel leasing. The RMP amendments cover federal lands in Oregon, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, California, and Wyoming.