BLM ‘prejudice against oil and gas’ mars sage grouse regs, Barrasso says

By Scott Streater | 06/05/2024 01:41 PM EDT

In a letter to BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso said proposals to protect the Western bird would unnecessarily restrict energy development while ignoring larger threats.

Greater sage grouse at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming.

Greater sage grouse are seen at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. Tom Koerner/Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr

Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso told the Bureau of Land Management it has shown a “prejudice against oil and gas development” that will reduce the effectiveness of proposed plans to save the greater sage grouse across the West.

Barrasso, the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning that the proposed regulations to protect remaining populations of the Western bird unnecessarily target land-use restrictions on energy development, while diminishing the impacts to the grouse and its habitat from drought and wildfires.

“We believe that this stems from a prejudice against oil and gas development, and neglects truly dangerous threats to species conservation,” wrote Barrasso, whose state is home to the largest population of remaining sage grouse. “We request the Bureau incorporate more proactive management practices regarding ecological damage to habitat as the planning and public engagement process continues.”


Barrasso also requested Stone-Manning extend the ongoing 90-day public comment period, which ends next week, on June 13, by another 90 days, running through at least Sept. 11.