Morning consult – Local stakeholders upset interior’s sage grouse plans cut them out
by IULIA GHEORGHIU – Polling released on Friday shows voters in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and Idaho, the states with sage grouse habitats, are familiar with the bird, especially sportsmen and fishermen.
The Interior Department wants to reduce conservation efforts for the greater sage grouse and its habitats, upsetting local stakeholders who had come up with their own plans for how to help the small bird with falling population numbers across the Western United States.
A review team from Interior on Monday released its recommendations, but stakeholders say they don’t take into account the delicate compromises developed over the years by conservation groups, ranchers, and others over the use of 167 million acres of land that affect everyone from the energy industry to sportsmen.
Polling released on Friday shows voters in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and Idaho, the states with sage grouse habitats, are familiar with the bird, especially sportsmen and fishermen.
The Harper Polling results, sponsored by the sportsmen group Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, showed strong support for the existing plans to protect the sagebrush landscape, the home of the sage grouse. Overall, 57 percent of voters support the current plan and 31 percent do not. Along party lines, 57 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Democrats support the existing plan.
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