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County confronts BLM over sage-grouse

Ellen Cook
Leader Editor

Following a well-attended meeting in Snowville, hosted by the Bureau of Land Management and attended by area farmers and ranchers, Box Elder County commissioners added their concerns to the topic of discussion, the National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy.
In 2010, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service said the sage-grouse warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act.  If the listing goes through, millions of acres of grassland habitat could be affected.
“That would be devastating to grazing going on in western Box Elder County,” said Commissioner LuAnn Adams.

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To that end, commissioners unanimously put their names to a letter to the BLM’s Utah Sub-Region project manager, Quincy Bahr, asking that the county be allowed to participate in the preparation of any environmental impact statements regarding the greater sage-grouse.
“We want the Bureau of Land Management and the United Sates Forest Service to coordinate with the leaders in Box Elder County,” the letter stated.  “We expect the plan to be consistent with the Box Elder County Land Management Plan.”
In a second letter to the BLM’s Western Regional office, the commissioners also asked for cooperating agency status, along with offering their own suggestions on dealing with the sage-grouse issue.

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