Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has signed onto legislation to give federal land managers better tools to improve sage-grouse habitat. H.R. 1793, the Sage-Grouse and Mule Deer Habitat Conservation and Restoration Act of 2015, would create a categorical exclusion from the NEPA process in order to remove pinyon-juniper from sage-grouse and mule deer habitat.
“Some of the major threats to sage-grouse habitat are wildfire and invasive species, and controlling these threats requires good, active land management practices,” said Simpson. “Unfortunately, the environmental review process has grown so cumbersome for the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management that it has gotten in the way of their efforts to conserve the species. H.R. 1793 addresses this problem by providing the agencies with the tools they need to remove pinyon-juniper on sage-grouse and mule deer habitat throughout the west.”
H.R. 1793 is currently under consideration by the House Natural Resources Committee.