Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, both warned the Trump administration against making large scale changes to Greater-Sage Grouse Protection plans, at a joint appearance this week at Colorado State University. Both were concerned that reworking the plans could send a message to states, that it is a waste of time to collaborate with the federal government concerning conservation. According to Governor Mead, if the federal government chooses a substantially different path forward with sage grouse conservation, it would send the message to states, that may want to address other endangered species problems, to not work with the federal government, as any finalized Federal-State agreement may be subjected to change. Hickenlooper agreed, saying both he and Mead are concerned the Trump administration may take away all the guidelines that allowed the collaboration to exist. The original sage grouse management plans were instituted in 2015 by the Obama administration, after a collaborative effort between the affected states and the federal government. The management plans concerned preserving sage grouse habitat in 11 western states. President Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced last month, the agency plans to review the sage grouse plans, with the possibility of withdrawing protections from about 15,600 square miles of sage grouse habitat, to allow energy development to occur.
Mead and Hickenlooper Issue Warning to Trump
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