Conservationists: Collaboration Can Protect Grouse and DrillingSource: Fuel Fix | 25 August 2014
The best way to protect the greater sage grouse while keeping drill bits turning in Western states is for environmentalists and oil companies to work together on safeguarding the bird’s habitat, conservationists said.
Ten conservation groups made the plea for “collaboration and compromise” in a letter to the Western Energy Alliance, an industry group that recently launched an advertising campaign blaming environmental activists and lawyers for exploiting “bad science and the courts to stop responsible energy development.”
That is an “overgeneralization” of conservation-minded groups working to keep the bird off the endangered species list, said the letter-signers, including the Western Values Project, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, and The Wilderness Society.
“Groups like ours are working diligently throughout the West, imploring all stakeholders to come to the table to achieve a workable, range-wide plan that protects existing rights, allows for needed new development, promotes other compatible uses and commits to conservation protections sufficient to avoid the necessity of the greater sage grouse being federally listed,” they wrote. “We feel strongly that the best path forward to achieving this goal is to genuinely collaborate with interested stakeholders, even those we might not always agree with.”