Sage Grouse Ecosystem Campaign

PHAS’s Sage Grouse Ecosystem BLM Campaign

        Approximately half of greater sage grouse (GRSG) habitat is managed by the Bureau of Land Management

(BLM). BLM is currently revising its’ management plans’ guidance for greater sage

grouse (GRSG). The BLM released the draft EIS on March 14th, 2024. It is 3 volumes long and has a 90 day comment period, ending June 13th, 2024.   For more info: https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-proposes-stronger-greater-sage-grouse-conservation-plans

The BLM held 13 public meetings to answer questions and take further comments on the draft alternatives and analysis.         This is related to a long term campaign of Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS).

During the Obama administration, there was concern/objections by some politicians for the listing of the GRSG as threatened.

The BLM began to rewrite management plans so as to take proactive action to protect the grouse and

prevent its’ listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This involved creation of 15 EIS’s on management

plans across the West. Prairie Hills Audubon Society alone or in partnership with other NGOs commented

on most of the plans. After BLM made decisions on them, we wrote protests, in partnership with other NGOs.

          After the Obama administration adopted its revisions, in early 2016 four environmental NGOs litigated,

believing that while the BLMs plans were an improvement over the past management, the BLM

had not changed the management enough and the plans were inadequate to prevent the GRSG listing. We sued for

the plans to be improved, but we did not attempt to enjoin them. We are represented by attorneys at 

Advocates for the West. We have been in litigation for 8 years and have had some significant wins.

Our co-plaintiffs are – Western Watersheds Project, Center For Biological Diversity and Wild Earth

Guardians.

         As this litigation was underway, the Trump administration replaced replaced the Obama administration era plans with their own,

and created even worse plans for the BLM (2019 Plan Amendments). As we were already

in court, we supplemented the complaint and got an injunction against the Trump changes,

which injunction still holds. We also got protection from mineral entry (hard rock mining) for a large area of priority sage

grouse habitat (Sagebrush Focal Areas). BLM has to move forward with NEPA documents to accomplish this.


=======================================

SPRING/SUMMER 2024 IMMEDIATE ACTION

      The Biden administration is currently rewriting the BLMs management plans.

The Draft EISs on proposed amendents to Resource Management Plans  is released- & comments due June 13th  – for more details go to our web page alert on this:

https://phas-wsd.org/event/deadline-to-comment-on-blms-greater-sage-grouse-rmp-amendments-deis/

=====================================

PHAS MEETING ON THIS TOPIC
Our June meeting on Monday June 10th will be about the BLM proposed amendments to the BLM RMPs. Erik Molvar , Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project will speak to us by Zoom at 6:30 pm.  Meeting details – https://phas-wsd.org/event/june-10th-phas-meeting-on-the-blms-proposed-amendments-to-their-rmps-for-greater-sage-grouse/
======================
OPINIONS and ON-LINE COMMENT LETTERS
American Bird Conservancy opinions-

Advocates for the West

Court house news service articleon BLM DEIS
New York times article BLM DEIS
Center for Biological Diversity on-line Form letter:
National Audubon Society’s on-line Form letter – https://act.audubon.org/a/sage-grouse-habitat?ms=chapter-V02

  

=====================================

=

REFERENCES FOR THIS HISTORY

============================================================================

This is our Attorney’s (Advocates for the West) web page on our litigation. At the bottom of the page, you can download case filings:

https://advocateswest.org/case/sage-grouse-rmp-challenge/

 =======

BLM’s very own summary of history of sage grouse protection and an outline of the likely proposed alternatives in the new plans to be released in late summer/fall.:

https://eplanning.blm.gov/public_projects/2016719/200502020/20075824/250082006/GRSG Planning Newsletter-Alternatives Summary-final-03-29-2023.pdf

===========================================================================

16th of Feb 2021 – A Sweeping Win in Court for Sage-Grouse! (History)

“Advocates for the West won a resounding victory for sage-grouse when U.S. District Judge Lynn

Winmill overturned a Trump Administration decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly

in Nevada and Idaho, to allow mining in critical habitat for greater sage-grouse. This ruling is the latest

in Advocates for the West’s series of victories against Trump’s efforts to undermine sage-grouse

conservation measures in favor of industrial development.”

Read the Court Decision – https://advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Order-SFA-Mineral-

Withdrawal.pdf

https://advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Order-SFA-Mineral-Withdrawal.pdf

https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/court-blocks-trump-administration-plans-stripsage-

grouse-protections-2019-10-16/

=======================

February 2020 – (History – Trump Administration NEPA)

– BLM’ releases Supplemental EISs on the management of greater sage grouse on their lands in 6

western states (DEADLINE to comment on these is past). They did these SEISs as a response to the

litigation’s complaints about their NEPA processes.

https://www.kunr.org/post/blm-publishes-more-data-sage-grouse-management#stream/0

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03392/notice-of-availability-of-the-utahdraft-

supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03379/notice-of-availability-of-thenevada-

and-northeastern-california-draft-supplemental-environmental

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03393/notice-of-availability-of-the-idahodraft-

supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03380/notice-of-availability-of-the-oregon-

draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03391/notice-of-availability-of-thewyoming-

draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03394/notice-of-availability-of-the-northwest-

colorado-draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement

—————————-

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-statesappeal-

sage-grouse-ruling/article_6b0d2d2a-925b-5383-8918-6e19746ae2b3.html#utm_source=jhnewsandguide.

com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fdaily-headlines%2F%3F-dc%3D157668300

5&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

————————–

Oct 16th, 2019 (History)

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

In his order granting a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that the

administration failed to analyze how sage grouse would be harmed under the March 2019 land-use

plans. “Certainly, the BLM is entitled to align its actions with the State plans, but when the BLM substantially

reduces protections for sage grouse contrary to the best science and the concerns of other

agencies, there must be some analysis and justification – a hard look – in the NEPA documents,” he

wrote.

Press Release by Western Watersheds Project:

https://www.westernwatersheds.org/2019/10/lawsuit-by-wwp-and-friends-blocks-weakening-of-sagegrouse-

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-sagegrouse.

html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

=====================

—————–

April 22th, 2019 Update – Preliminary Injunction Requested (History)

(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

Recent News article on this injunction request.

https://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2019/04/22/stories/1060200323

###

==================

 March 27, 2019

We are suing Trump’s BLM’s decisions on GRSG (History)

NEWS – PHAS Press Releases – March 27, 2019

(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

——–

Press Release 2/25/16: (History)

Here are links about PHAS’s 2016 original litigation to improve Obama Admins GRSG plans

that these recent 2019 filings supplement.

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-sagegrouse-

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

=========

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Policy

SD has a theoretical hunting season for greater sage grouse, but every year after lek  inventories, it decides not to have a season that year

SD Sage Grouse Action Plan 2022 by SDGFP –   https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/sage_grouse_action_plan_jan._2022.pdf

SDGFP has hunting seasons for ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and greater prairie chicken.

 Greater prairie chicken are in trouble in the USA losing half  their population every 10 years, but they are hanging on in SD. Pheasants, which are an exotic species from Asia and SD’s state bird, compete with greater prairie chickens, The male pheasants drive off mail prairie chickens and the females lay eggs in the prairie chicken nests, which hatch first causing prairie chickens to abandon nest before their own fledging hatch. 

https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/prairie_grouse_action_plan_2023_2027_final_-1-.pdf

{“type”:”elementor”,”siteurl”:”https://phas-wsd.org/wp-json/”,”elements”:[{“id”:”80bc934″,”elType”:”widget”,”isInner”:false,”isLocked”:false,”settings”:{“editor”:”<h4><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Sage Grouse Ecosystem BLM Campaign</span></h4><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>        Approximately half of greater sage grouse (GRSG) habitat is managed by the Bureau of Land Management</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>(BLM). BLM is currently planning to revise its’ management plan guidance for greater sage</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>grouse (GRSG) with a release NEPA documents expected out sometime in summer or fall of 2023.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>         This is related to a long term campaign of Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS).</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>During the Obama administration, there was concern/objections by some politicians for the listing of the GRSG as threatened.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>The BLM began to rewrite management plans so as to take proactive action to protect the grouse and</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>prevent its’ listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This involved creation of 15 EIS’s on management</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans across the West. Prairie Hills Audubon Society alone or in partnership with other NGOs commented</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>on most of the plans. After BLM made decisions on them, we  wrote protests, in partnership with other NBOs.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>          After the Obama administration adopted its revisions, in early 2016 four environmental NGOs litigated,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>believing that while the BLMs plans were an improvement over the past management, the BLM</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>had not changed the management enough and the plans were inadequate to prevent the GRSG listing. We sued for</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>the plans to be improved, but we did not attempt to enjoin them. We are represented by attorneys for</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Advocates for the West. We have been in litigation for 6.5 years and have had some significant wins.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Our co-plaintiffs are – Western Watersheds Project, Center For Biological Diversity and Wild Earth</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Guardians.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>         As this litigation was underway, the Trump administration replaced replaced the Obama administration era plans with their own,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>and proceeded to create even worse plans for the BLM (2019 Plan Amendments). As we were already</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>in court, we supplemented the complaint and got an injunction against the Trump changes,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>which injunction still holds. We also got protection (from mineral entry for a large area of priority sage</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>grouse habitat (Sagebrush Focal Areas)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>      The Biden administration is currently rewriting the BLMs management plans, hopefully to better</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>address GRSG needs.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>=====================================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>=</span></p><h4><strong><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>REFERENCES FOR THIS HISTORY</span></strong></h4><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>============================================================================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BLM’s very own summary of history of sage grouse protection and an outline of the likely proposed alternatives in the new plans to be released in late summer/fall.:</span></p><blockquote><p><a href=\”https://eplanning.blm.gov/public_projects/2016719/200502020/20075824/250082006/GRSG%20Planning%20Newsletter-Alternatives%20Summary-final-03-29-2023.pdf\”>https://eplanning.blm.gov/public_projects/2016719/200502020/20075824/250082006/GRSG Planning Newsletter-Alternatives Summary-final-03-29-2023.pdf</a></p></blockquote><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>===========================================================================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>1<b>6th of Feb 2021</b> – A Sweeping Win in Court for Sage-Grouse! (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>“Advocates for the West won a resounding victory for sage-grouse when U.S. District Judge Lynn</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Winmill overturned a Trump Administration decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>in Nevada and Idaho, to allow mining in critical habitat for greater sage-grouse. This ruling is the latest</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>in Advocates for the West’s series of victories against Trump’s efforts to undermine sage-grouse</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>conservation measures in favor of industrial development.”</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Read the Court Decision – https://advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Order-SFA-Mineral-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Withdrawal.pdf</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Order-SFA-Mineral-Withdrawal.pdf</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/court-blocks-trump-administration-plans-stripsage-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>grouse-protections-2019-10-16/</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>======================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>F<b>ebruary 2020</b> – (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BLM’ releases Supplemental EISs on the management of greater sage grouse on their lands in 6</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>western states (DEADLINE to comment on these is past). They did these SEISs as a response to the</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>litigation’s complaints about their NEPA processes.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.kunr.org/post/blm-publishes-more-data-sage-grouse-management#stream/0</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03392/notice-of-availability-of-the-utahdraft-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03379/notice-of-availability-of-thenevada-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>and-northeastern-california-draft-supplemental-environmental</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03393/notice-of-availability-of-the-idahodraft-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03380/notice-of-availability-of-the-oregon-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03391/notice-of-availability-of-thewyoming-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03394/notice-of-availability-of-the-northwest-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>colorado-draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>—————————-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>D<b>ec 18th, 2019</b> (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Interior Department, states appeal Judge Winmill’s sage grouse ruling</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Link to article about:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/state_and_regional/interior-department-statesappeal-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>sage-grouse-ruling/article_6b0d2d2a-925b-5383-8918-6e19746ae2b3.html#utm_source=jhnewsandguide.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>com&amp;utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fdaily-headlines%2F%3F-dc%3D157668300</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>5&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=headline</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>————————–</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”><b>Oct 16th, 2019</b> (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Judge Winmill grants a preliminary injunction against Trump’s BLM (History)</span><span style=\”color: #000000; font-style: inherit;\”>in a lawsuit brought by Prairie Hills Audubon Society, Western Watersheds Project,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Center for Biological Diversity &amp; WildEarth Guardians. Our Attorneys: Advocates for the West</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>In his order granting a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that the</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>administration failed to analyze how sage grouse would be harmed under the March 2019 land-use</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans. “Certainly, the BLM is entitled to align its actions with the State plans, but when the BLM substantially</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>reduces protections for sage grouse contrary to the best science and the concerns of other</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>agencies, there must be some analysis and justification – a hard look – in the NEPA documents,” he</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>wrote.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Press Release by Western Watersheds Project:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.westernwatersheds.org/2019/10/lawsuit-by-wwp-and-friends-blocks-weakening-of-sagegrouse-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans/</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Link to the injunction is below:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/4-19-19-PI-Opening-Brief-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>FILED.pdf?utm_source=Advocates+Eblast+List&amp;utm_campaign=bc224d1f67-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_10_16_08_52&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_acc4c1d0df-bc224d1f67</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>-436821913</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>New York Times Article on</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/climate/trump-sagegrouse.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>html?action=click&amp;module=Latest&amp;pgtype=Homepage</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>=====================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>—————–</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”><b>April 22th, 2019</b> Update – Preliminary Injunction Requested (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>(History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Court Order Sought to Stop Destruction of Sage-grouse Habitat in Seven States</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BOISE, Idaho― Four conservation groups have asked a federal judge to block new plans that allow</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>drilling, mining and other destructive activities across 51 million acres of greater sage-grouse habitat</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>in seven western states: Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California and Oregon.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>The motion for a preliminary injunction, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Boise, says the land-management</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans approved by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt last month would gut protections for</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>the birds’ dwindling populations and destroy their habitat.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>View Press Release on this at 4/22/19:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2019/greater-sage-grouse-04-22-2019.php</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Recent News article on this injunction request.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2019/04/22/stories/1060200323</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>###</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>==================</span></p><p><span style=\”caret-color: #000000; color: #000000;\”> </span><span style=\”font-weight: bold; caret-color: #000000; color: #000000;\”>March 27, 2019</span><span style=\”color: #000000;\”><br /></span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>We are suing Trump’s BLM’s decisions on GRSG (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>NEWS – PHAS Press Releases – <b>March 27, 2019</b></span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>(History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Excerpt from Press Release</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BERNHARDT SUED FOR GUTTING SAGE GROUSE PLANS</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Former Oil Industry Lobbyist Violated Federal Law, Groups Say</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BOISE, Ida. ― Four conservation groups sued Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and the Bureau</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>of Land Management (BLM) in Idaho federal court today over their recent decisions to gut protections</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>for greater sage grouse across millions of acres of public land in the West. A copy of the</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>lawsuit is available here. The groups are Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>WildEarth Guardians and Prairie Hills Audubon Society.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>“The Trump Administration is gutting sage-grouse protections on at least 50 million acres of public</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>lands without admitting what they are doing,” said Laird J. Lucas, lead attorney for the Plaintiff groups</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>with Advocates for the West. “The lawsuit today exposes these actions as violating bedrock federal</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>laws and flouting the extensive body of science on what sage-grouse need to survive.”</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>LINK TO PRESS RELEASE</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2019/greater-sage-grouse-03-27-2019.php</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>——–</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Press Release<b> 2/25/16: </b>(History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Here are links about PHAS’s 2016 original litigation to improve Obama Admins GRSG plans</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>that these recent 2019 filings supplement.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/greater-sage-grouse-02-25-2016.html</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>News Articles:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060033004</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2016/02/25/lawsuit-fights-special-interest-loopholes-in-greater-sagegrouse-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans/</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.law360.com/articles/763850/enviros-sue-feds-seeking-more-protection-of-sage-grouse</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Link to Complaint.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/SG-RMP-Complaint-FILED.pdf</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>=========</span></p><h4><span style=\”color: #000000;\”><b>South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Policy</b></span></h4><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>SD has a theoretical hunting season for greater sage grouse, but every year after lek  inventories, it decides not to have a season that year</span></p><p><span style=\”font-style: inherit; color: #000000;\”>S<b>D Sage Grouse Action Plan 2022 </b></span><span style=\”font-style: inherit; color: #000000;\”><b>by SDGFP –   </b></span><a style=\”font-size: 1rem; font-style: inherit;\” href=\”https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/sage_grouse_action_plan_jan._2022.pdf\” target=\”_blank\” rel=\”noopener\”>https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/sage_grouse_action_plan_jan._2022.pdf</a></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>SDGFP has hunting seasons for ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and greater prairie chicken. Greater prairie chicken are in trouble in the USA losing half  their population every 10 years, but they are hanging on in SD. Pheasants, which are an exotic species from Asia and SD’s state bird, compete with greater prairie chickens, The male pheasants drive off mail prairie chickens and the females lay eggs in the prairie chicken nests, which hatch first causing prairie chickens to abandon nest before their own fledging hatch. </span></p><p>https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/prairie_grouse_action_plan_2023_2027_final_-1-.pdf<span style=\”color: #000000;\”><br 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“,”_border_hover_transition”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_switch”:””,”_mask_shape”:”circle”,”_mask_image”:{“url”:””,”id”:””,”size”:””},”_mask_notice”:””,”_mask_size”:”contain”,”_mask_size_tablet”:””,”_mask_size_mobile”:””,”_mask_size_scale”:{“unit”:”%”,”size”:100,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_size_scale_tablet”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_size_scale_mobile”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_position”:”center center”,”_mask_position_tablet”:””,”_mask_position_mobile”:””,”_mask_position_x”:{“unit”:”%”,”size”:0,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_position_x_tablet”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_position_x_mobile”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_position_y”:{“unit”:”%”,”size”:0,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_position_y_tablet”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_position_y_mobile”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:[]},”_mask_repeat”:”no-repeat”,”_mask_repeat_tablet”:””,”_mask_repeat_mobile”:””,”hide_desktop”:””,”hide_tablet”:””,”hide_mobile”:””},”defaultEditSettings”:{“defaultEditRoute”:”content”},”elements”:[],”widgetType”:”text-editor”,”htmlCache”:”\t\t<div class=\”elementor-widget-container\”>\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t<div class=\”elementor-text-editor elementor-clearfix elementor-inline-editing\” data-elementor-setting-key=\”editor\” data-elementor-inline-editing-toolbar=\”advanced\”>\n\t\t\t\t<h4><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Sage Grouse Ecosystem BLM Campaign</span></h4><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>        Approximately half of greater sage grouse (GRSG) habitat is managed by the Bureau of Land Management</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>(BLM). BLM is currently planning to revise its’ management plan guidance for greater sage</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>grouse (GRSG) with a release NEPA documents expected out sometime in summer or fall of 2023.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>         This is related to a long term campaign of Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS).</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>During the Obama administration, there was concern/objections by some politicians for the listing of the GRSG as threatened.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>The BLM began to rewrite management plans so as to take proactive action to protect the grouse and</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>prevent its’ listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This involved creation of 15 EIS’s on management</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans across the West. Prairie Hills Audubon Society alone or in partnership with other NGOs commented</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>on most of the plans. After BLM made decisions on them, we  wrote protests, in partnership with other NBOs.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>          After the Obama administration adopted its revisions, in early 2016 four environmental NGOs litigated,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>believing that while the BLMs plans were an improvement over the past management, the BLM</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>had not changed the management enough and the plans were inadequate to prevent the GRSG listing. We sued for</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>the plans to be improved, but we did not attempt to enjoin them. We are represented by attorneys for</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Advocates for the West. We have been in litigation for 6.5 years and have had some significant wins.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Our co-plaintiffs are – Western Watersheds Project, Center For Biological Diversity and Wild Earth</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Guardians.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>         As this litigation was underway, the Trump administration replaced replaced the Obama administration era plans with their own,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>and proceeded to create even worse plans for the BLM (2019 Plan Amendments). As we were already</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>in court, we supplemented the complaint and got an injunction against the Trump changes,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>which injunction still holds. We also got protection (from mineral entry for a large area of priority sage</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>grouse habitat (Sagebrush Focal Areas)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>      The Biden administration is currently rewriting the BLMs management plans, hopefully to better</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>address GRSG needs.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>=====================================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>=</span></p><h4><strong><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>REFERENCES FOR THIS HISTORY</span></strong></h4><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>============================================================================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BLM’s very own summary of history of sage grouse protection and an outline of the likely proposed alternatives in the new plans to be released in late summer/fall.:</span></p><blockquote><p><a href=\”https://eplanning.blm.gov/public_projects/2016719/200502020/20075824/250082006/GRSG%20Planning%20Newsletter-Alternatives%20Summary-final-03-29-2023.pdf\”>https://eplanning.blm.gov/public_projects/2016719/200502020/20075824/250082006/GRSG Planning Newsletter-Alternatives Summary-final-03-29-2023.pdf</a></p></blockquote><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>===========================================================================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>1<b>6th of Feb 2021</b> &#8211; A Sweeping Win in Court for Sage-Grouse! (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>“Advocates for the West won a resounding victory for sage-grouse when U.S. District Judge Lynn</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Winmill overturned a Trump Administration decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>in Nevada and Idaho, to allow mining in critical habitat for greater sage-grouse. This ruling is the latest</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>in Advocates for the West’s series of victories against Trump’s efforts to undermine sage-grouse</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>conservation measures in favor of industrial development.”</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Read the Court Decision &#8211; https://advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Order-SFA-Mineral-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Withdrawal.pdf</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Order-SFA-Mineral-Withdrawal.pdf</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/court-blocks-trump-administration-plans-stripsage-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>grouse-protections-2019-10-16/</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>======================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>F<b>ebruary 2020</b> &#8211; (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BLM&#8217; releases Supplemental EISs on the management of greater sage grouse on their lands in 6</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>western states (DEADLINE to comment on these is past). They did these SEISs as a response to the</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>litigation&#8217;s complaints about their NEPA processes.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.kunr.org/post/blm-publishes-more-data-sage-grouse-management#stream/0</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03392/notice-of-availability-of-the-utahdraft-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03379/notice-of-availability-of-thenevada-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>and-northeastern-california-draft-supplemental-environmental</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03393/notice-of-availability-of-the-idahodraft-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03380/notice-of-availability-of-the-oregon-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03391/notice-of-availability-of-thewyoming-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-for-greater</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-03394/notice-of-availability-of-the-northwest-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>colorado-draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>D<b>ec 18th, 2019</b> (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Interior Department, states appeal Judge Winmill&#8217;s sage grouse ruling</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Link to article about:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/state_and_regional/interior-department-statesappeal-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>sage-grouse-ruling/article_6b0d2d2a-925b-5383-8918-6e19746ae2b3.html#utm_source=jhnewsandguide.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>com&amp;utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fdaily-headlines%2F%3F-dc%3D157668300</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>5&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=headline</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8211;</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”><b>Oct 16th, 2019</b> (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Judge Winmill grants a preliminary injunction against Trump&#8217;s BLM (History)</span><span style=\”color: #000000; font-style: inherit;\”>in a lawsuit brought by Prairie Hills Audubon Society, Western Watersheds Project,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Center for Biological Diversity &amp; WildEarth Guardians. Our Attorneys: Advocates for the West</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>In his order granting a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that the</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>administration failed to analyze how sage grouse would be harmed under the March 2019 land-use</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans. “Certainly, the BLM is entitled to align its actions with the State plans, but when the BLM substantially</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>reduces protections for sage grouse contrary to the best science and the concerns of other</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>agencies, there must be some analysis and justification – a hard look – in the NEPA documents,” he</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>wrote.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Press Release by Western Watersheds Project:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.westernwatersheds.org/2019/10/lawsuit-by-wwp-and-friends-blocks-weakening-of-sagegrouse-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans/</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Link to the injunction is below:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/4-19-19-PI-Opening-Brief-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>FILED.pdf?utm_source=Advocates+Eblast+List&amp;utm_campaign=bc224d1f67-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_10_16_08_52&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_acc4c1d0df-bc224d1f67</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>-436821913</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>New York Times Article on</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/climate/trump-sagegrouse.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>html?action=click&amp;module=Latest&amp;pgtype=Homepage</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>=====================</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8211;</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”><b>April 22th, 2019</b> Update &#8211; Preliminary Injunction Requested (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>(History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Court Order Sought to Stop Destruction of Sage-grouse Habitat in Seven States</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BOISE, Idaho― Four conservation groups have asked a federal judge to block new plans that allow</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>drilling, mining and other destructive activities across 51 million acres of greater sage-grouse habitat</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>in seven western states: Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California and Oregon.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>The motion for a preliminary injunction, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Boise, says the land-management</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans approved by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt last month would gut protections for</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>the birds’ dwindling populations and destroy their habitat.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>View Press Release on this at 4/22/19:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2019/greater-sage-grouse-04-22-2019.php</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Recent News article on this injunction request.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2019/04/22/stories/1060200323</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>###</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>==================</span></p><p><span style=\”caret-color: #000000; color: #000000;\”> </span><span style=\”font-weight: bold; caret-color: #000000; color: #000000;\”>March 27, 2019</span><span style=\”color: #000000;\”><br /></span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>We are suing Trump’s BLM’s decisions on GRSG (History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>NEWS &#8211; PHAS Press Releases &#8211; <b>March 27, 2019</b></span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>(History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Excerpt from Press Release</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BERNHARDT SUED FOR GUTTING SAGE GROUSE PLANS</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Former Oil Industry Lobbyist Violated Federal Law, Groups Say</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>BOISE, Ida. ― Four conservation groups sued Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and the Bureau</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>of Land Management (BLM) in Idaho federal court today over their recent decisions to gut protections</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>for greater sage grouse across millions of acres of public land in the West. A copy of the</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>lawsuit is available here. The groups are Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity,</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>WildEarth Guardians and Prairie Hills Audubon Society.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>“The Trump Administration is gutting sage-grouse protections on at least 50 million acres of public</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>lands without admitting what they are doing,” said Laird J. Lucas, lead attorney for the Plaintiff groups</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>with Advocates for the West. “The lawsuit today exposes these actions as violating bedrock federal</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>laws and flouting the extensive body of science on what sage-grouse need to survive.”</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>LINK TO PRESS RELEASE</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2019/greater-sage-grouse-03-27-2019.php</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>&#8212;&#8212;&#8211;</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Press Release<b> 2/25/16: </b>(History)</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Here are links about PHAS&#8217;s 2016 original litigation to improve Obama Admins GRSG plans</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>that these recent 2019 filings supplement.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/greater-sage-grouse-02-25-2016.html</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>News Articles:</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060033004</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2016/02/25/lawsuit-fights-special-interest-loopholes-in-greater-sagegrouse-</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>plans/</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.law360.com/articles/763850/enviros-sue-feds-seeking-more-protection-of-sage-grouse</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>Link to Complaint.</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>http://www.advocateswest.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/SG-RMP-Complaint-FILED.pdf</span></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>=========</span></p><h4><span style=\”color: #000000;\”><b>South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Policy</b></span></h4><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>SD has a theoretical hunting season for greater sage grouse, but every year after lek  inventories, it decides not to have a season that year</span></p><p><span style=\”font-style: inherit; color: #000000;\”>S<b>D Sage Grouse Action Plan 2022 </b></span><span style=\”font-style: inherit; color: #000000;\”><b>by SDGFP &#8211;   </b></span><a style=\”font-size: 1rem; font-style: inherit;\” href=\”https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/sage_grouse_action_plan_jan._2022.pdf\” target=\”_blank\” rel=\”noopener\”>https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/sage_grouse_action_plan_jan._2022.pdf</a></p><p><span style=\”color: #000000;\”>SDGFP has hunting seasons for ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and greater prairie chicken. Greater prairie chicken are in trouble in the USA losing half  their population every 10 years, but they are hanging on in SD. Pheasants, which are an exotic species from Asia and SD&#8217;s state bird, compete with greater prairie chickens, The male pheasants drive off mail prairie chickens and the females lay eggs in the prairie chicken nests, which hatch first causing prairie chickens to abandon nest before their own fledging hatch.

https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/prairie_grouse_action_plan_2023_2027_final_-1-.pdf

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