Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold Urges Public to Take Immediate Action to Protect Iconic Greater Sage-Grouse

Posted November 21, 2016

Anti-conservation special interests are working to undermine efforts to save the Greater Sage-Grouse. Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold sent an action alert today to the public to step up to protect this iconic bird and its important habitat. Louis Bacon and The Moore Charitable Foundation are strong supporters of The National Audubon Society.

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Greater Sage-Grouse once numbered in the millions, but its numbers have declined precipitously due to widespread habitat destruction. Ronan Donovan/Audubon Photography Awards

As Congress works to wrap up for the year, historic protections for Greater Sage-Grouse are under attack. This bird—an icon of our Western landscape—once numbered in the millions, but its numbers have declined precipitously due to widespread habitat destruction. Last year, Audubon celebrated landmark conservation plans to protect 67 million acres of the Greater Sage-Grouse’s habitat. But anti-conservation members of Congress are attempting to block these new plans from taking effect and hand over management of our public lands to states by including bad language in the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act—a bill that funds our military and is completely unrelated to sage-grouse.

Urge your members of Congress to oppose this disastrous ploy to roll back Greater Sage-Grouse conservation efforts.

The U.S. House has already passed this damaging provision in their version of the bill, even though officials from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Readiness have explicitly stated that sage-grouse protections will not impact our country’s military readiness. Right now the House and Senate are negotiating on the final version of the bill—and your members of Congress need to hear that you support efforts to save the Greater Sage-Grouse.

A wide range of stakeholders worked together over many years to develop the new conservation plans, which merged the latest science and local knowledge. The collaborative approach protects sage-grouse and supports economic activity that depends on a healthy sagebrush steppe. These conservation efforts were so successful that they helped prevent the need for an Endangered Species Act listing, in addition to protecting 350 other species including Golden Eagles and Brewer’s Sparrows. Now, these much-needed protections could be undone.

Tell your members of Congress that including special-interest sage-grouse language in the National Defense Authorization Act would spell disaster for these incredible birds and to let the plans work.