Letter to Hon. Debra Haaland, Secretary of the Interior - Simpson Led Efforts to Rebuke Biden Administration's Misguided Efforts on Sage-Grouse Recovery


Dear Secretary Haaland,

We write in regard to the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) notice of intent to amend land
use plans regarding greater sage-grouse conservation in the states of California, Colorado, Idaho,
Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming published in the
Federal Register on November 22, 2021. Given the significant public interest in this process and
in the preparation of the associated environmental impact statements, we urge you to extend the
comment period for the scoping process by 60 days to allow for more participation from states,
local governments, tribes and stakeholders.

Before updating the greater sage-grouse land use plan amendments, the Department of the
Interior under the last administration issued Secretarial Order 33521 with the aim of enhancing
cooperation with the states, clearly identifying objectives and roles for states and the federal
government, and establishing a team to review previous land use plan amendments and revisions.
Additionally, during the process for the 2019 Sage-Grouse Plan amendments, the last
administration made it a priority to collaborate closely with state Governors, state wildlife
managers, and other concerned organizations and individuals. This close relationship with
stakeholders allowed BLM to improve its alignment with state plans and management strategies
to increase the conservation benefits for the greater sage-grouse. This process also helped build a
greater trust between the BLM and western communities. We urge you to strive to replicate these
extensive coordination efforts as a part of your review.

In December, we sent you a letter calling on you to empower states, local government, and
private conservation partners as a part of this process. We also called on the Department to meet
directly with impacted state and local governments as well as private conservation partners.
Specifically, we requested that you host public meetings in all of the impacted states and would
like an update on where the Department stands in carrying out that request.

In addition, given the broad and intense interest in this process of amending land use plans
regarding greater sage-grouse conservation, we call on you to extend the comment period for 60-
days to ensure that important stakeholder voices across the west are heard.