DENVER, COL — Today the National Wildlife Federation released a report about unchecked energy development and its impact on wildlife, sporting traditions and the rural communities that depend on outdoor recreation economies. Nationally, hunting generates $27 billion in consumer spending every year and hunting and fishing-related businesses employ 438,000 people across the country.
The report found that the Bureau of Land Management’s prioritization of energy development above all other uses threatens the survival of wildlife. In too many cases, the agency has allowed leasing in areas that would disrupt migration corridors and degrade crucial habitat. In 2017 alone, almost double the amount of land was offered for lease (more than 11 million acres) than the next-highest year in the previous decade. The leases have been offered in some of the finest hunting areas in the country.
The new report examines three specific Resource Management Plans (RMPs). The Lewistown (MT) and Uncompahgre (CO) RMPs have already been released. The Rock Springs RMP (WY) is expected to be released later this year.
“These plans will determine for two decades how the Bureau of Land Management will manage lands that contain some of the finest hunting grounds in the world. In the two plans that have been finalized, the administration chose to ignore the voices of community members, hunters, and anglers who know these lands best,” said Aaron Kindle, director of sporting advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation. “We hope the administration won’t make the same mistake with the Rock Springs plan. There’s a responsible way to pursue energy development on our public lands, but so far this administration has not demonstrated a willingness to do so.”
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
Rock Springs (RMP not yet released)
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