Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) issued the following statement in support of the existing federal sage grouse plans that implement habitat-based sage grouse conservation management. Last week, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that the Department of the Interior will shift its focus towards a population-based conservation approach, ignoring decades of experience and habitat management models used by Western governors.
“Conservation is a delicate process that needs state and local input. I stand with Governor Brian Sandoval (Nev.) in calling for Interior Secretary Zinke to support a habitat-based conservation approach that relies on local management and the inclusion of key stakeholders. Those on the ground in Western states have a more nuanced understanding of sage grouse conservation and can help the department develop ways to address improvements. Misguided wholesale changes create uncertainty and undermine efforts to prevent a species listing, sound science, and Western collaboration. I urge Secretary Zinke and his Department to listen to Western governors and local stakeholders to ensure the sage grouse’s survival while promoting economic growth.”