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PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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Wyoming Sagebrush Makeover

Sagebrush public lands in Wyoming are part of the largest conservation project ever undertaken by the BLM. Credit: Deborah C. Smith
Sagebrush public lands in Wyoming are part of the largest conservation project ever undertaken by the BLM. Credit: Deborah C. Smith
September 23, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Scrubby sagebrush landscapes on public lands in Wyoming and throughout the West are being seen in a new way, with the Bureau of Land Management unveiling plans on how those public lands will be treated.

More than half of all sagebrush lands have been lost, said Ken Rait, public lands director at The Pew Charitable Trusts, so the conservation components in the plans will keep habitat strong for big game and birds, keep them open for hunting and other recreation, and allow for development and grazing.

"The Records of Decision that the Bureau of Land Management have come out with are a significant step in bringing a responsible balance to development across the West and conservation of the sage-grouse," he said.

The plans are part of the reason the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided the greater sage-grouse would not be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Senior ecologist Matt Holloran at Wyoming Wildlife Consultants said this is the largest conservation program ever undertaken by the BLM - but the plans aren't the end of the story.

"For this effort to succeed as it's been planned, I mean, all we have now are plans," he said, "and for the success to happen, the plans need to be implemented."

There are 98 separate plans covering 10 states, each one crafted on local input - while also giving credit to community and state projects to conserve sage-grouse on private land, and Wyoming's progress was noted.

Plan details are online at blm.gov.


Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY