"Millions Of Acres Of Grouse Habitat Opening To Mining"

"The Interior Department is set to reopen millions of acres of sensitive greater sage grouse habitat across six Western states to mining activity when a two-year moratorium on new mining claims ends Sunday.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is not expected to issue a new moratorium order protecting the 10 million acres of "sagebrush focal areas," or SFAs, which were included in the Obama-era grouse plans finalized two years ago today. The federal plans describe the SFAs as "essential for the species' survival."

The Bureau of Land Management is conducting an environmental impact statement to determine whether all, part or none of the 10 million acres should be withdrawn from new mining claims for 20 years or more in the name of protecting the sage grouse and some of its most important habitat."

Scott Streater reports for Greenwire September 22, 2017.

Source: Greenwire, 09/25/2017