Photo Credit: Steven Ting
The proposed expansion of the Alton Coal mine in Southern Utah is threatening the southernmost range of the iconic sage grouse.
Once seen in great numbers across the West, the sage grouse populations have declined over the past century because of the loss of sagebrush habitat essential for their survival.
Fortunately, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service are preparing to enact plans that protect the sage grouse and reverse the downward trend in population numbers.
But the BLM's proposed plan in Utah allows huge exemptions to those protections for coal surface mining and other dirty energy projects, such as the Alton Coal Mine, where the southern-most sage grouse breeding ground in the lower 48 states is located.
Tell the BLM to implement the conservation alternative that protects vital populations, habitat, and mating grounds of the sage grouse.
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Don't sacrifice the sage grouse for the Alton Coal Mine
Dear Director Palma,
I am writing to ask you to take the necessary measures to protect the imperiled sage grouse in Utah. This means the BLM should adopt the Conservation Alternative, which designates known occupied habitats and leks as ACECs. This would include the known population and lek on the site of the proposed Alton Coal Mine expansion.I am strongly opposed to the BLM's preferred alternative that would allow known occupied habitats and leks to be designated as General Management Areas. Allowing for voluntary avoidance measures to occur does not provide the necessary protections deserved by the sage grouse. As the largest federal land management agency in Utah, the BLM has a critically important responsibility in protecting existing sage grouse populations and also working to see that the bird's population numbers start to increase, rather than suffer further declines.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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