Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke received a report from the Department of the Interior Sage-Grouse Review Team (DOI Team) regarding possible plan and policy modifications to complement state efforts to improve Greater Sage-Grouse conservation and economic development on public lands. The report is the final product required by Secretarial Order 3353 “Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States” issued June 7, 2017. The report, the cover letter from the Bureau of Land Management to the Secretary, and the memo from Secretary Zinke to Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt are available online.
“I’m thankful to all of the DOI team members as well as the bureau staff and the state partners who put in the hard work and time to develop this report,” said Secretary Zinke. “I’ve directed Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt to begin implementation of the recommendations and to direct the Bureau of Land Management, in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other offices in the Department, to immediately follow through on the short- and long-term recommendations.”
In addition to officials from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Forest Service, representatives from 11 states that have sage-grouse habitat were involved in the creation of the document.
Secretarial Order 3353 aims to improve sage-grouse conservation and to strengthen communication and collaboration between states and the federal government. Together, the federal government and the states are working to conserve and protect sage-grouse and their habitat while also ensuring conservation efforts do not impede local economic opportunities.
In signing Secretarial Order 3353, Secretary Zinke established an internal review team that, among other things, evaluated both federal sage-grouse plans and state plans and programs to ensure they are complementary and explored possible plan modifications with local economic growth and job creation in mind.