• Coalition Questions Scientific Basis of Sage-Grouse Management Decisions
  • April 15, 2015
  • Law Firm: Holland Hart LLP - Denver Office
  • In March, a coalition of oil and gas and mining groups and local governments in four states filed administrative challenges under the Data Quality Act to three scientific documents that may provide the basis for greater land management restrictions over millions of acres across the west. The documents in question are:
    • BLM’s National Technical Team Report (Dec. 2011);
    • The Fish and Wildlife Service’s Conservation Objectives Team (COT) Report (Feb. 2013); and
    • The U.S. Geological Survey’s Comprehensive Review of Ecology and Conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse: A Landscape Species and its Habitats (the “Monograph”).
    The groups claim that taken together, the reports “advance a one-sided narrative that is simply not supported by the full body of scientific literature and data.”

    The challenge comes on the heels of a letter to DOI Secretary Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack from a group of scientists questioning whether the NTT and COT reports go far enough to advance sage-grouse conservation goals.

    The DOI will have 60 days to respond to the Data Quality Act challenges.