Feds alter policies in sage grouse habitat

Among the changes is the elimination of a 2016 policy detailing how the agency should prioritize oil and gas leasing and development outside of habitat management areas for the bird.

According to a BLM news release, the new policy makes it clear that while sage-grouse plans do prioritize leasing and development outside those areas, "they still allow leasing with appropriate protective measures on all minerals estate previously designated as 'open.' This means that the BLM does not need to lease and develop entirely outside of habitat management areas before it can consider leasing and development within sage-grouse habitat management areas." Read the article.