Apr 212015
 

The Associated Press is reporting that the Fish and Wildlife Service has decided not to list the California-Nevada population of greater sage-grouse as threatened or endangered. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will formally announce the decision today. (Press release below)

Reported the AP's Scott Sonner:

Jewell said in remarks prepared for a 1 p.m. [Tuesday] announcement with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval in Reno that she intends to withdraw the earlier proposal to declare the bistate population threatened. "The collaborative, science-based efforts in Nevada and California are proof that we can conserve sagebrush habitat across the West while we encourage sustainable economic development," she said.

Regulatory docket

All sage-grouse documents published in Federal Register over the years

PRESS RELEASE, April 21, 2015

Successful Conservation Partnership Keeps Bi-State Sage-Grouse Off Endangered Species List

Partnership among California, Nevada, Federal Agencies, & Landowners Helped Conserve Key Habitat, Reduce Threats to Bird

RENO, NV – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse does not require the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Secretary Jewell joined with USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird and other state and local partners to celebrate an extensive and long-term conservation partnership on behalf of the bi-state greater sage-grouse population. Federal, state and private partners have come together to proactively conserve key habitat and significantly reduce long-term threats to this distinct population segment of greater sage-grouse.

A key factor in the decision not to list the bird was the development of the Bi-State Action Plan, a conservation plan developed by partners in the Bi-State Local Area Working Group over the past 15 years and secured with $45 million in funding. This adds to nearly $30 million worth of conservation work USDA and other partners have already completed to implement this plan.

“Thanks in large part to the extraordinary efforts of all the partners in the working group to address threats to greater sage-grouse and its habitat in the Bi-State area, our biologists have determined that this population no longer needs ESA protection,” said Jewell. “What’s more, the collaborative, science-based efforts in Nevada and California are proof that we can conserve sagebrush habitat across the West while we encourage sustainable economic development.”

“This is welcome news for all Nevadans. I applaud the local area working group, private citizens, Tribes, the Nevada Department of Wildlife and our federal partners for their tremendous efforts to develop conservation actions that preclude the need to list the species while still allowing for sustainable economic development,” said Sandoval. “Today’s announcement highlights the critical partnerships that must exist for our conservation strategies to be effective and demonstrate that sage grouse and economic development can coexist in both the bi-state area and across the range of the greater sage-grouse.”

“Together, we’ve worked with ranchers, conservation groups, and local governments in Nevada and California to take proactive steps to restore and enhance sage-grouse habitat while also helping them improve their ranching operations,” Bonnie said. “The decision to not list the bi-state sage-grouse proves this work has paid off.”

“The efforts of the local working group and the partnerships they’ve built over the past decade are truly unprecedented,” said Dan Ashe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director. “They have set the stage for the next generation of conservation and convinced us that the sage-grouse population has a bright future in the Bi-State region.”

“California is committed to continue working with our public and private partners in implementing this strong, science-based conservation plan into the future,” said Laird. “This partnership between California and Nevada serves as a model for effective conservation of the Greater sage-grouse in other Western states.”

As its name suggests, the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment straddles the California-Nevada border, where biologists estimate that between 2,500 and 9,000 of these ground-dwelling birds inhabit about 4.5 million acres of high-desert sagebrush. Greater sage-grouse are known for the males’ flamboyant springtime mating displays on traditional dancing grounds, also called leks. The birds use a variety of sagebrush habitats throughout the year on private, state and federal lands.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) under the ESA in 2010 because genetic analysis shows it has been separated from other greater sage-grouse for thousands of years and the genetic differences are significant.

In October 2013, the Service proposed listing the Bi-State DPS as threatened under the ESA based on significant population declines due to the loss and fragmentation of its sagebrush habitat from urbanization and associated infrastructure development, encroachment of sagebrush by conifers, and a vicious cycle of wildfire and fire-adapted invasive grasses. These threats, combined with the relatively limited number of birds, the small population size and their isolation, were determined to pose a significant threat to the species.

The Service is withdrawing this proposal in large part because of the success of the Bi-State Action Plan. The plan is the product of the Bi-State Area Local Working Group, comprising federal, state and local agencies and landowners from Nevada and California, which has been pursuing sage-grouse conservation since the early 2000s. Since then, the working group’s technical advisory committee has finalized plans on nearly 80 science-driven conservation projects specifically designed to reduce identified threats and protect the sagebrush-steppe habitat.

The working group’s executive oversight committee has raised more than $45 million in federal and state funding to ensure the projects are implemented and completed over the next 10 years. Long-term projects implemented under the Bi-State Action Plan include population monitoring, urbanization abatement measures, livestock management, wild horse management, pinyon and juniper removal, disease and predation studies and other habitat improvement and restoration projects.

Each of the projects is tied to a specific population management unit within the region, led and funded by a specific agency or partnership, and ranked by the immediacy of the threat to the species.

The comprehensive plan and funding commitments give the Service confidence that effective conservation measures needed to address threats to the species are highly likely to be implemented.

The working group members include private landowners in California and Nevada, Nevada Department of Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Nevada Division of Forestry, California State Parks, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, nongovernmental organizations such as Nevada Wildlife Federation, Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Defense and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Conservation work on private lands – through easements and habitat restoration – has played an important role in connecting national forests and other public lands, working to keep habitat intact. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has already invested nearly $20 million in conservation assistance to ranchers through this effort. This has helped ranchers protect 7,300 acres of key summer habitat through easements, with an additional 4,500 acres in process. This investment has also helped them remove invading juniper and pinyon trees, enhancing nearly 4,000 acres of important sagebrush-steppe habitat.

This summer, the Forest Service will begin treatments to improve sagebrush ecosystem health on 29,000 acres of key habitat for the sage grouse.

The USGS has been a key partner in monitoring the Bi-State population and interpreting data collected to assure the Bi-State partners are using the best science in their conservation efforts.

Along with withdrawing the listing proposal, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also withdrawing proposed rules under section 4(d) of the ESA and the proposed designation of critical habitat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is concurrently conducting a separate status review for the greater sage-grouse across its 11-state range. In 2010, it determined the greater sage-grouse was warranted for protection but that action was precluded by higher priorities. A determination on whether the species still requires protection is due Sept. 30, 2015.

The deteriorating health of the greater sage-grouse and western sagebrush landscapes has sparked an unprecedented and proactive partnership across eleven states to conserve the uniquely American habitat that supports diverse wildlife, outdoor recreation, and ranching and other traditional land uses that form the cornerstone of the Western way of life.

For more detailed information on the Bi-State DPS of the greater sage-grouse and its habitat, along with more information about conservation projects that are being done to help protect this unique species, visit www.fws.gov/greatersagegrouse.

Jan 062015
 

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has issued an order to address the effects of fire on sagebrush. (Press release)

“Targeted action is urgently needed to conserve habitat for the greater sage-grouse and other wildlife in the Great Basin, as well as to maintain ranching and recreation economies that depend on sagebrush landscapes,” said Secretary Jewell. “The Secretarial Order further demonstrates our strong commitment to work with our federal, state, tribal and community partners to reduce the likelihood and severity of rangeland fire, stem the spread of invasive species, and restore the health and resilience of sagebrush ecosystems.”

The order sets up a Rangeland Fire Task Force chaired by Deputy Secretary Mike Connor.

The press release is below.


Displaying


Date: January 6, 2015
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

Secretary Jewell Launches Comprehensive Strategy to Protect and Restore Sagebrush Lands Threatened by Rangeland Fire
 Builds on work with federal, state, tribal and non-government partners to protect economic activity and wildlife habitat vital to the Western way of life

WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today issued a Secretarial Order calling for a comprehensive science-based strategy to address the more frequent and intense wildfires that are damaging vital sagebrush landscapes and productive rangelands, particularly in the Great Basin region of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California.

The strategy will begin to be implemented during the 2015 fire season. Goals include reducing the size, severity and cost of rangeland fires, addressing the spread of cheatgrass and other invasive species, and positioning wildland fire management resources for more effective rangeland fire response.

“Targeted action is urgently needed to conserve habitat for the greater sage-grouse and other wildlife in the Great Basin, as well as to maintain ranching and recreation economies that depend on sagebrush landscapes,” said Secretary Jewell. “The Secretarial Order further demonstrates our strong commitment to work with our federal, state, tribal and community partners to reduce the likelihood and severity of rangeland fire, stem the spread of invasive species, and restore the health and resilience of sagebrush ecosystems.”

The Secretarial Order establishes a top-level Rangeland Fire Task Force, chaired by Interior’s Deputy Secretary Mike Connor, includes five assistant secretaries, and lays out the goals and timelines for completing the Task Force’s work.

The Task Force will work with other federal agencies, states, tribes, local entities and non-governmental groups on fire management and habitat restoration activities. This includes enhancing the capability and capacity of our partners’ fire management organizations through improved and expanded education and training. The Task Force also will encourage improved coordination among all partners involved in rangeland fire management to further improve safety and effectiveness.

The Order builds on wildland fire prevention, suppression and restoration efforts to date, including the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, which provides a roadmap for achieving “all hands—all lands” cooperation, and the President’s wildland fire budget proposal to change how fire suppression costs are budgeted to treat extreme fire seasons the way other emergency disasters are treated. The budget proposal would provide greater certainty in addressing growing fire suppression needs while better safeguarding prevention and other non-suppression programs, such as fuels reduction and post-fire rehabilitation.

The accelerated invasion of non-native grasses and the spread of pinyon-juniper, along with drought and the effects of climate change, increased the threat of rangeland fires to the sagebrush landscape and the more than 350 species of plants and animals, such as mule deer and pronghorn, that rely on this critically important ecosystem. The increasing frequency and intensity of rangeland fire in sagebrush ecosystems has significantly damaged the landscape on which ranchers, livestock managers, hunters and outdoor recreation enthusiasts rely. This unnatural fire cycle puts at risk their economic contributions across this landscape that support and maintain the Western way of life in America.

Efforts to conserve and protect sagebrush habitat are the centerpiece of an historic campaign to address threats to greater sage-grouse prior to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s court-ordered 2015 deadline whether to propose the bird for Endangered Species Act protection.

Secretary Jewell is working with Western governors to improve wildland fire-fighting capacity at all levels, highlighting the proactive voluntary partnership with ranchers, farmers and other landowners to conserve the sagebrush landscape on private and public lands. Interior’s November 5-7, 2014, conference in Idaho, The Next Steppe: Sage-grouse and Rangeland Fire in the Great Basin, brought together fire experts and land managers at the federal, state and local levels who underscored the need for a comprehensive, landscape-scale strategy to rangeland fire suppression and prevention.

At the December 6, 2014, Western Governors’ Association winter meeting, Jewell directed her Department’s leadership to develop a comprehensive strategy to fight rangeland fire with an eye toward protecting rural communities, sagebrush landscapes and habitats essential to the conservation of the sage-grouse and other wildlife.

“These efforts will help Governors, state, tribal and local fire authorities, and those landowners on the ground – including rangeland fire protection associations and rural volunteer fire departments – make sure they have the information, training and tools to more effectively fight the threat of rangeland fires,” said Jewell. “To protect these landscapes for economic activity and wildlife like the greater sage-grouse, we need a three-pronged approach that includes strong federal land management plans, strong state plans, and an effective plan to address the threat of rangeland fire.”

Because about 64 percent of the greater sage-grouse’s 165 million acres of occupied range is on federally managed lands, Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service are currently analyzing amendments to existing land use plans to incorporate appropriate conservation measures to conserve, enhance and restore greater sage-grouse habitat by reducing, eliminating or minimizing threats to the habitat.

State and private lands, which make up a significant portion of the priority and general habitat for the greater sage-grouse, are also critical for the species. As a result, the Department is working in an unprecedented partnership with the states to provide strong habitat protection and conservation measures on the lands they administer. As part of her efforts with Western governors, Secretary Jewell encouraged, assisted and highlighted the proactive, voluntary state and federal partnership with ranchers, farmers and other landowners to conserve the sagebrush landscape on private and public lands.

The rangeland fire Secretarial Order will help frame the third part of the greater sage-grouse conservation strategy by encouraging further federal, state, tribal and local protection for those vulnerable sagebrush lands in the Great Basin states.

Greater sage-grouse once occupied more than 290 million acres of sagebrush in the West, but the bird, known for its flamboyant mating ritual at sites called leks, has lost more than half of its habitat since then. Settlers reported that millions of birds once took to the skies; current estimates place population numbers between 200,000 and 500,000 birds. The species now occurs in 11 states and two Canadian provinces. More information on the greater sage-grouse and the ongoing, collaborative work to conserve the sagebrush landscape is available at: http://www.fws.gov/greatersagegrouse/

Dec 102014
 

An omnibus bill to fund the federal government, released yesterday, prohibits spending any money on listing decisions for four species of sage-grouse.

The agreement reached between Senate and House negotiators targets the greater sage-grouse, Gunnison sage-grouse, Columbia Basin Distinct Population Segment of sage-grouse, and bi-state DPS of sage-grouse. in eastern California and west-central Nevada

Full text of the spending bill is here.

Unable to display PDF
Click here to download

Jul 092014
 

July 9 -- In his opening statement at a markup of the Interior and Environment spending bill, subcommittee chairman Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) made a point of addressing some of the ESA provisions:

calvert-at-approps-7914

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), before subcommittee hearing on FY 2015 Interior-Environment appropriations bill (Click for video of Calvert)

"This subcommittee has no interest in forcing any species to go extinct. What we're concerned about is federal regulatory action based more on arbitrary legal deadlines than on common sense. Nowhere is this more evident than with sage-grouse.

"States are rightfully concerned that a federal takeover of sage-grouse will jeopardize existing conservation partnerships with states and private landowners which are necessary to save sage-grouse. This takeover would eliminate jobs and curtail future job growth; devastate state and local economies; and undermine the nation's ability to develop conventional and renewable resources for energy independence.

"So long as sage-grouse are not under imminent threat of extinction, cooperative conservation must be given a chance to work. That is why this bill includes a one-year delay on any decision to list sage-grouse along with a strong cross-cutting budget to help implement these collaborative conservation plans."

Excerpts:

VALLEY ELDERBERRY LONGHORN BEETLE

SEC. 116. None of the funds made available by this Act or any other Act may be used before October 1, 2015, for any study, nor to withdraw or finalize any rule, with regard to the valley elderberry longhorn beetle under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1351 et seq.), except that the Secretary of the Interior shall accept for the record additional public comments on the Peer Review of the Scientific Findings in the Proposed Rule to Delist the Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle, dated January 2013, for a period of no less than 180 days following the date of the enactment of this Act.

SAGE-GROUSE

SEC. 117. None of the funds made available by this or any other Act may be used by the Secretary of the Interior to write or issue pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533)—

(1) a proposed rule for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus);
(2) a proposed rule for the Columbia basin distinct population segment of greater sage-grouse;
(3) a final rule for the bi-state distinct population segment of greater sage-grouse; or (4) a final rule for Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus).

AMPHIBIANS

SEC. 118. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service shall release for public comment and submit for scientific peer review not later than December 30, 2015, individual or multi-species recovery plans for the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog; the northern distinct population segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog; and the Yosemite toad. The plans shall include analyses of social and economic impacts of implementing recovery actions as well as efforts to minimize such impacts as required by the policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 Fed. Reg. 34272 et seq.).

WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES

SEC. 429. None of the funds made available in this Act or any other Act for any fiscal year may be used to develop, adopt, implement, administer, or enforce any change to the regulations and guidance in effect on October 1, 2012, pertaining to the definition of waters under the jurisdiction of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251, et seq.), including the provisions of the rules dated November 13, 1986 and August 25, 1993, relating to said jurisdiction, and the guidance documents dated January 15, 2003 and December 2, 2008, relating to said jurisdiction.

STREAM BUFFER

SEC. 430. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to develop, carry out or implement (1) guidance, policy, or directive to reinterpret or change the historic interpretation of 30 C.F.R. § 816.57, which was promulgated on June 30, 1983 by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement of the Department of the Interior (48 Fed. Reg. 30,312); or (2) proposed regulations or supporting materials described in the Federal Register notice published on June 18, 2010 (75 Fed. Reg. 34,667) by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement of the Department of the Interior.

LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY

SEC. 432. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to develop, propose, finalize, administer, or implement the National Ocean Policy developed under Executive Order 13547. Not later than 60 days after the date on which the President’s fiscal year 2016 budget request is submitted to the Congress, the President shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate identifying all Federal expenditures by fiscal year since 2011, by agency, account, and any pertinent subaccounts, for the development,  administration, or implementation of such National Ocean Policy. The President’s budget submission for fiscal year 2016 shall identify all funding proposed for the implementation of such National Ocean Policy.

DEFINITION OF FILL MATERIAL

SEC. 439. None of the funds made available in this Act or any other Act may be used by the Environmental Protection Agency to develop, adopt, implement, administer, or enforce any change to the regulations in effect on October 1, 2012, pertaining to the definitions of the terms "fill material" or "discharge of fill material" for the purposes of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251, et seq.).

A few quotes

Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the full appropriations committee, also spoke. A couple of highlights:

Administration "has tried to find new regulations that hamper economic activity."

On waters of the U.S. proposal: "EPA seeks to gain jurisdiction over most of the country."

On getting requested information from agencies. No agency, he says, is worse than EPA; "they just simply will not respond to inquiries." EPA's congressional affairs and budget office funding cut by 50 percent. Funding for EPA Administrator's office also cut by half. "So let the word go forth. We want info."

Moran: "Obviously there are going to be amendments at the full committee level. This is as good a bill ... as we could have gotten out of subcommittee." The issues "will be fully debated at the full committee level."

Nov 182011
 

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed a lower court decision finding that BLM complied with NEPA and FLPMA when it prepared an Environmental Impact Statement for the Pinedale Anticline natural gas project in Wyoming (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership v. Salazar, 10-5386, 11/18/2011).

Sage-grouse on the Pinedale Anticline (pic from operators' web page)

Circuit Judges David B. Sentelle (author), Judith W. Rogers and Thomas B. Griffith determined that BLM reasonably defined its objective, examined an adequate range of alternatives, and rationally balanced competing interests when it approved an increase in wells and year-round drilling in certain areas, instead of seasonal restrictions to protect wildlife.

The nearly 200,000 acres of the PAPA (the Pinedale Anticline Project Area) include the third-largest natural gas field in the United States. But it also includes habitat for Greater sage-grouse, a candidate species under the Endangered Species Act, as well as for mule deer and pronghorn. TRCP contended that BLM should not have abandoned the seasonal restrictions and should have provided larger buffer zones to mitigate for the effects on sage-grouse.

The court said, however, that "even where TRCP offers evidence that a particular mitigation measure likely will be ineffective, it fails to provide any other solution that still would permit significant recovery of natural gas—a use [the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA)] requires the Bureau to balance with conservation. Specifically, TRCP argues that there is no evidence that the Bureau’s one-quarter-mile buffer for greater sage-grouse leks will prevent the sage-grouses from abandoning their leks or attending in smaller numbers. The Bureau concedes that one-quarter-mile buffers 'will not avoid adverse consequences to the greater sage grouse,' but the record shows that TRCP’s recommended two-mile buffer would prevent natural gas extraction in nearly the entire PAPA. Again, FLPMA prohibits only unnecessary or undue degradation, not all degradation."

As to the goals of the project, "Nothing in the record demonstrates that preventing all declines in wildlife populations was ever the Bureau’s management objective," the opinion says. "TRCP calls the Bureau’s stated objective 'unreasonably narrow' because it focuses only on the operators’ need to increase production, but TRCP misreads the Bureau’s explicit statement of purpose and need," the court said. " The Bureau does not state a purpose to enact or adopt the operators’ proposal to some degree; rather, its purpose is to 'act upon' that proposal.  The former language might be unreasonably narrow to the extent it presupposes approval of the proposal, thereby limiting the alternatives to be analyzed to only those that would enact the proposal."

BLM also adequately examined the impact of the proposed drilling on hunting and wildlife populations the court said. Here's an excerpt:

"The Bureau also engages in detailed analysis of the proposed development’s effects on the wildlife the TRCP members hunt, including mule deer and greater sage-grouse.  This analysis concludes that surface disturbance and loss of habitat function are likely to adversely impact the populations of several game species.  Given the direct and intuitive link between a decrease in game species and a corresponding decrease in opportunities to hunt those species, such an analysis reasonably supports the Bureau’s conclusion that hunting opportunities are likely to decrease.  Taken as a whole, the Bureau’s analysis of the proposed development’s impact on game species and hunting opportunities is 'tolerably terse' rather than 'intolerably mute.'  See City of Alexandria, 198 F.3d at 870-71. We conclude that the Bureau’s discussion satisfies its hard-look mandate."

Nor did BLM fail to look closely at whether the drilling would cause "unnecessary or undue degradation," one of the standards in FLPMA.

Opined the court: "[B]y following FLPMA’s multiple-use and sustained-yield mandates, the Bureau will often, if not always, fulfill FLPMA’s requirement that it prevent environmental degradation because the former principles already require the Bureau to balance potentially degrading uses—e.g., mineral extraction, grazing, or timber harvesting—with conservation of the natural environment.  If the Bureau appropriately balances those uses and follows principles of sustained yield, then generally it will have taken the steps necessary to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation."

"In adopting the 2008 Record of Decision, the Bureau recognized the primary competing uses of the PAPA: the recovery of natural gas from the third-largest natural gas field in the continental United States and recreational use of the PAPA’s other natural resources. Pursuant to its multiple-use mandate, the Bureau decided to allow additional natural gas extraction in the PAPA while implementing significant measures to mitigate the degradation the Bureau conceded would be necessary to allow significant recovery. The record supports the Bureau’s determination that these mitigation measures would be adequate to prevent degradation that is unnecessary to, or undue in proportion to, the natural gas development that the 2008 Record of Decision permits."

The case was argued before the appeals court panel Sept. 20, nearly a year after U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon issued his decision below.

Background (from the decision)

The PAPA encompasses just over 198,000 acres of federal, state, and private land in western Wyoming.  It contains what is now considered the third-largest natural gas field in the United States (Pinedale Field).  The PAPA also provides other natural resources, including recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat.  In particular, the PAPA supports part of the “winter range” for mule deer and pronghorn, which serves as survival habitat during harsh winter conditions.  The PAPA also provides year-round habitat for part of a significant population of the greater sage-grouse. This habitat includes mating-display grounds called leks as well as brood-rearing areas and wintering areas.  Mule deer, pronghorn, and sage-grouse are game species of particular interest to this region’s hunters.

The Bureau manages the roughly 80 percent of the federally owned land and resources in the PAPA.  The government has leased most of its mineral resources, including most of the Pinedale Field, to oil and gas companies (the Operators). Energy development in the PAPA remained negligible until the 1990s, when new drilling technology allowed for commercially practicable recovery of the PAPA’s natural gas.

More info

District court citation: Theodore Roosevelt Conservation P’ship v. Salazar, 744 F. Supp. 2d 151 (D.D.C. 2010)

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership page

TRCP FAQ on litigation

Complaint in district court (10-1047, D.D.C.)

TRCP appeals district court decision (press release, 12/15/2010)

Pinedale Anticline Project Office (BLM page) and SEIS page

Pronghorn, sage grouse still above matrix "triggers" (Joy Ufford, Sublette (Wyo.) Examiner, 11/7/11)