Target: Neil Kornze, Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Goal: Take responsibility for endangered species on land under BLM control
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controls some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Western United States, including millions of acres of national monuments, conservation areas, wilderness areas, historic trails, and scenic vistas. There are many threatened and endangered species that make their homes in these remote regions, and that depend upon BLM for protection. Threatened species, like Colorado’s greater sage grouse, need the support of BLM officials to survive in the wild.
If sage grouse habitats cannot be restored on Colorado’s BLM land, it will likely be placed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species list in 2015. At this time, the BLM manages 46 percent of the sage grouse habitat in Colorado. These habitats have become highly fragmented because of ongoing rapid oil and gas development in the area. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been monitoring the birds for the past seven years and noticed devastating, large-scale changes in the sagebrush habitats the grouse depend upon for protection.
The fight to preserve the bird’s habitat is also a fight between conservation and politics. The BLM has a lot of varied responsibilities, but native habitats must be made a priority. Sign the below petition to urge the BLM to take responsibility for threatened and endangered species on its lands to preserve diversity in the Western United States.
Dear Mr. Kornze,
The habitat of the Colorado’s sage grouse is being destroyed by oil and gas industry development, and the species is set to be listed on the Endangered Species List within two years. Since 46 percent of sage grouse habitats lie on BLM land, your department must take responsibility for this species that provides valuable resources to the area.
I am urging you to work with the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and local environmental groups to implement a plan to restore sagebrush areas in on your land so that the grouse can thrive again. I understand that the BLM has a lot of responsibility and limited funding, but threatened and endangered species must remain a priority to maintain diversity in the American West. Thank you for doing your part to offset the harmful effects of energy development and restoring balance to the Colorado wilderness.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rob Crow via Flickr