GarCo taxpayer dollars fund industry’s sage grouse plan

greater sage grouse photoWestern Values Project exposé by Ross Lane —

Your Money, Their Gain: Colorado County Pays Industry Consultants to Prepare Pro-Industry Sage-Grouse Plan

For years, we’ve known that the oil and gas industry will throw unlimited amounts of cash at preventing conservation initiatives that it believes might limit its ability to produce more resources and make more money. We also know that energy companies largely prefer to fight back on the mere concept of protecting land, water and wildlife rather than finding solutions that meet the goals of all parties.

That’s old news.

But how far will some elected officials go to waste taxpayer dollars fighting industry’s greedy battle as well?

Today, Western Values Project is releasing newly uncovered documents that show some Garfield County officials are more concerned with protecting the interests of oil and gas companies than in finding workable solutions to a difficult problem. Documents revealed by an open records request show county officials are using taxpayer dollars to wage a losing battle against the grain of compromise – which is the only way forward to avoid listing the Greater sage -grouse as endangered, an outcome absolutely no one wants.

It’s time to hold the County accountable. Here’s the story…

Click here for the WVP Garfield County CORA documents

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Group: Records show Garfield ties to industry on sage-grouse [subscribers only]

A watchdog group says records show a cozy relationship among Garfield County, the oil and gas industry and its consultants on the issue of greater sage-grouse …

… Garfield Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said Tuesday that [Ross] Lane is “overreaching” in his criticism. Jankovsky noted that Gov. John Hickenlooper also has concerns over the BLM’s proposal.

That’s right. Frackinlooper weighed on the side of the oil & gas industry, too.

Governor urges consideration of local sage-grouse alternative

… In a letter sent Tuesday to BLM Northwest District Manager Jim Cagney, Hickenlooper stressed the adoption of a plan that “both safeguards the economic engine of northwestern Colorado and protects the greater sage-grouse sufficiently to preclude a listing under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

The governor said such an alternative has been offered by local governments in the region, along with input from energy, ranching and conservation interests.

That plan, which Garfield County played a leading role in developing, is not among the four management alternatives currently being considered, although parts of it remain on the table for consideration, BLM officials have said …

…. The BLM is considering comments received by the December deadline on its draft sage-grouse management plan. The agency is expected to forward its response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service later this winter. A final management plan is expected to be released later this year.

Governor Hickenlooper’s letter to the Bureau of Land Management on the state approach in environmental impact statement

See also:
Junk science hunting
Grousing about grouse

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