"The Bureau of Land Management has revised an Obama-era policy directing agency field offices to prioritize oil and natural gas leasing and drilling projects outside of the most sensitive greater sage grouse habitat.
The instruction memorandum (IM), issued last week to little fanfare, states that BLM "does not need to lease and develop outside of [grouse] habitat management areas before considering any leasing and development within [grouse] habitat."
It is one of six IMs issued last week to BLM field offices across the West addressing key aspects of the federal grouse conservation plans that were finalized in 2015. The others deal primarily with livestock grazing and adaptive management measures.
But the oil and gas IM is the most substantive and potentially impactful for grouse habitat and clearly advances a top goal of the Trump administration to increase fossil fuel development on federal lands."