Romney to congressional leadership: Let states lead sage grouse conservation

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) has joined his colleagues, led by U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) and Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID), in sending a bicameral letter to Senate and House leadership urging the continued Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing prohibition for greater sage-grouse.

“[T]his prohibition gives the state conservation plans time to be effectively implemented and show results,” the letter reads in part. “Instead of allowing the greater sage-grouse to be another victim of the activism industry that has been built around ESA-related litigation, we want to conserve the species. Using the knowledge and personal buy-in from states and local communities that have invested years in the development and implementation of these plans is the best way to do so.”

The letter was also signed by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), John Barrasso (R-WY), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Representatives Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Mike Conaway (R-TX), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Liz Cheney (R-WY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Jim Baird (R-IN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Paul Cook (R-CA), Ken Buck (R-CO), Mark Amodei (R-NV), and John Curtis (R-UT).

The State of Utah has made excellent progress in enhancing and developing sage-grouse habitat. State-led efforts to conserve the sage-grouse include a wide array of stakeholders and significant investment to recover the species. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has also received hundreds of millions of dollars in sage-grouse conservation funding through the annual appropriations process.

Read the full text of the letter.