Amodei keeps up criticism of BLM over sage grouse
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- A Nevada congressman is renewing criticism of the BLM for deferring thousands of acres from proposed oil and gas development in the state because of concerns over sage grouse habitat.
In a statement Thursday, Republican Rep. Mark Amodei said the BLM's "unilateral policy" of shutting down public lands out of concerns for sage grouse is misguided. The former president of the Nevada Mining Association says wildfires are the biggest threat to the bird.
The BLM this week offered 114,348 acres for oil and gas leases, but deferred another 262,000 acres from bidding because of sage grouse.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency is under court mandate to determine by 2015 if sage grouse deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act. States are working on conservation plans to avoid a listing.