A registered chapter of the National Audubon Society  
Prairie Hills Audubon Masthead
Prairie-Hills Chapter of the Audubon Society works on a wide variety of projects (click the Mission tab above for more information). A list of some of the activities can be found to the right.

 

Announce litigation
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Recent PHAS news February 11th, 2021 - Another win in our Sage-Grouse lawsuit

Federal Judge Overturns Trump Administration’s Gutting of Sage-Grouse Protections from Mining

photo by D Licht
BOISE, Idaho— A federal judge on 2/11/21 overturned a Trump administration decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly in Nevada and Idaho, to allow mining in vital habitat for greater sage grouse. The ruling is the latest in a series of court victories for sage grouse conservation.

Attorneys from Advocates for the West represent Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Prairie Hills Audubon Society in this case.

Link to the press release:

https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/federal-judge-overturns-trump-administrations-gutting-of-sage-grouse-protections-from-mining-2021-02-11/

Articles
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/judge-overturns-trump-action-that-lifted-mining-ban-in-u-s-west

Oct 16th, 2019


Judge Winmill grants a preliminary injunction against Trump's BLM (History)
in a lawsuit brought by Prairie Hills Audubon Society, Western Watersheds Project,
Center for Biological Diversity & WildEarth Guardians.
Our Attorneys: Advocates for the West

Press Release by Western Watersheds Project:
https://www.westernwatersheds.org/2019/10/lawsuit-by-wwp-and-friends-blocks-weakening-of-sage-grouse-plans/

Link to the injunction is below:
https://advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/4-19-19-PI-Opening-Brief-FILED.pdf?utm_source=Advocates+Eblast+List&utm_campaign=bc224d1f67-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_10_16_08_52&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_acc4c1d0df-bc224d1f67-436821913

New York Times Article on
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/climate/trump-sage-grouse.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

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Dec 18th, 2019 (History)

Interior Department, states appeal Judge Winmill's sage grouse ruling

Link to article about"

https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/state_and_regional/interior-department-states-appeal-sage-grouse-ruling/article_6b0d2d2a-925b-5383-8918-6e19746ae2b3.html#utm_source=jhnewsandguide.com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fdaily-headlines%2F%3F-dc%3D1576683005&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

We are suing to protect Sage Grouse
NEWS - PHAS Press Releases -
(History)

Excerpt from Press Release
BERNHARDT SUED FOR GUTTING SAGE GROUSE PLANS
Former Oil Industry Lobbyist Violated Federal Law, Groups Say
BOISE, Ida. ― Four conservation groups sued Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Idaho federal court today over their recent decisions to gut protections for greater sage grouse across millions of acres of public land in the West. A copy of the lawsuit is available here. The groups are Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Prairie Hills Audubon Society.
“The Trump Administration is gutting sage-grouse protections on at least 50 million acres of public lands without admitting what they are doing,” said Laird J. Lucas, lead attorney for the Plaintiff groups with Advocates for the West. “The lawsuit today exposes these actions as violating bedrock federal laws and flouting the extensive body of science on what sage-grouse need to survive.”

LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2019/greater-sage-grouse-03-27-2019.php

Photo of Sage Grouse, copyright Dan Licht

April 22th Update - Preliminary Injunction Requested
(History)
Court Order Sought to Stop Destruction of Sage-grouse Habitat in Seven States

BOISE, Idaho― Four conservation groups have asked a federal judge to block new plans that allow drilling, mining and other destructive activities across 51 million acres of greater sage-grouse habitat in seven western states: Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California and Oregon.

The motion for a preliminary injunction, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Boise, says the land-management plans approved by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt last month would gut protections for the birds’ dwindling populations and destroy their habitat.

View Press Release on this at 4/22/19:

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2019/greater-sage-grouse-04-22-2019.php
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Recent News article on this injunction request.
https://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2019/04/22/stories/1060200323
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Thursday February 25th, 2016
Complaint filed about greater sage grouse
PHAS major campaign announcement

On 2/25/16 Prairie Hills Audubon Society joined 3 other environmental groups (WildEarth Guardians, Western Watershed Projects, Center for Biological Diversity) in filing litigation to protect greater sage grouse.
The lawsuit is about more than a dozen greater sage-grouse plans produced by federal agencies, plans that fail to adequately protect this iconic western bird from a series of threats, including fossil fuel development, grazing and mining. The plans cover about 70 million acres of public lands in 10 states, administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The suit doesn’t seek to eliminate the plans but to strengthen them with science-based protections recommended by the government’s own scientists.
To understand more details follow link to the press release below.
The case is Western Watersheds Project et al. v. Schneider et al., case number 1:16-cv-00083-EJL,
in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.
We will also have a meeting about this in Rapid City, on March 29th,
scroll down to March specific events


USFWS photo

Press Release 2/25/16:
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/greater-sage-grouse-02-25-2016.html

News Articles:
http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060033004
http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2016/02/25/lawsuit-fights-special-interest-loopholes-in-greater-sage-grouse-plans/
http://www.law360.com/articles/763850/enviros-sue-feds-seeking-more-protection-of-sage-grouse

Link to Complaint.
http://www.advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/SG-RMP-Complaint-FILED.pdf

Link to Litigant's Protests of Agencies' Decisions (earlier step) :

Link to WWP et al. protests (an earlier step)
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B1T2j7JW1SeoZ0Nma2V6U29HR00&usp=sharing

Link to WEG et al. protests (an earlier step)
http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/PageServer?pagename=priorities_wild_places_sagebrush_grouse_protests_2015#.VtDN1FJwXY_

Other References for NGOs

Link to Defenders of Wildlife's review of Draft Environmental Impact Statements on
BLM's & FS's grouse management plans
http://www.defenders.org/sage-grouse/national-planning-strategy

Link to "Evaluating Sage Grouse Conservation Efforts", WildEarth Guardians, August 2015
http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/DocServer/Evaluating_Sage_Grouse_Conservation_Efforts_final_opt.pdf?docID=16543

Link to "The Shrinking Geography of Sage Grouse Conservation", WildEarth Guardians, July 2015,
http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/DocServer/The_Shrinking_Geography_of_Sage_Grouse_Conservation_Fina.pdf?docID=16402

Related BLM & USFWS Federal Reports

Final EISs on BLM & FS Management Planning for Sage Grouse
http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/sagegrouse/final_eiss.html

A Report on National Greater Sage‐Grouse Conservation Measures, Sage-grouse National Technical Team, Dec. 2011 http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/co/programs/wildlife.Par.73607.File.dat/GrSG%20Tech%20Team%20Report.pdf
Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), Conservation Objectives: Final Report, February 2013
http://www.fws.gov/greatersagegrouse/documents/COT-Report-with-Dear-Interested-Reader-Letter.pdf

NAS's Opposing View
National Audubon Society's (NAS) opinion - NAS supports Federal Agencies' Decisions on grouse RMPs.
https://www.audubon.org/news/unprecedented-conservation-efforts-keep-greater-sage-grouse-endangered-species

Environmentalist Interventions in a Related Lawsuit
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2016/02/court_allows_conservation_grou.html
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ZINKI MAY CHANGE BLM/FS SAGE GROUSE AMENDMENTS/REVISIONS
- SUMMER 17

Dept of Interior news release:
https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/secretary-zinke-signs-order-improve-sage-grouse-conservation-strengthen-communication
NPR
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/08/531945271/trump-administration-orders-review-of-sage-grouse-protections

Other newspaper articles
https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-06-07/interior-head-orders-review-of-sage-grouse-conservation-plan
http://esawatch.org/weekly-newsletter-71417/

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SD IMPORTANT BIRD AREAS
a subset of a National Audubon Society Nationwideprogram


National Audubon Society recent conservation action in SD.
The National Audubon Society has recently inventoried & designated Important Bird Areas (IBAs) for SD
Link to Maps & data SD IBAs
http://www.audubon.org/important-bird-areas/state/south-dakota

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Sand Creek Project from 2009 - View a map of the botanical values of Sand Creek (map 1, map 2), a map of the wildlife value, a map of rare plants, and a map of the special designations of the site. The Biodiversity Conservation Alliance submitted an Amended Petition to the Wyoming EQC for Designation of the Area as Very Rare or Uncommon (Docket No. 09-1102). This effort failed, however the information in the petion is very informative about this exception area.

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