In an effort to conserve habitat it deems vital to the Greater Sage-Grouse, the Bureau of Land Management has announced the draft proposal to withdraw certain sage-grouse habitat lands around the West from future mineral extraction leasing.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement analyzes five alternative, ranging from no action to withdrawal of approximately 10 million acres of federal minerals in certain areas crucial to the Greater Sage-Grouse in six states;  Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

The Federal Register notice opens a public comment period that will end March 30.  The BLM also will host eight public meetings throughout the West in February to gather input on the proposal and alternatives.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the proposed withdrawal in September 2015 as part of a landscape-scale effort that began with BLM’s and its state and federal partners’ successful efforts to prevent the Greater Sage-Grouse from being listed under the Endangered Species Act.

A fact sheet and draft EIS  as well as dates and times for public meetings and a map of the proposed withdrawals are available at https://www.blm.gov/programs/fish-and-wildlife/sagegrouse/blm-sagegrouse-plans/minerals-withdrawals. 

Written comments on the proposed withdrawal may be mailed to Mark Mackiewicz, Bureau of Land Management, C/O Price Field Office, 125 South 600 West, Price, Utah  84501 or submitted electronically to sagebrush_withdrawals@blm.gov