BLM to Host Open Houses on Proposed Withdrawal in Crucial Sage-Grouse Habitat

BLM 2-14-17

The Bureau of Land Management today announced it will be holding eight public open houses throughout the West in February to gather input on the agency’s proposal to withdraw a subset of lands that are sage-grouse strongholds from future mining claims. This is the next step in a process that started in September 2015 with the successful efforts of the BLM and its state and federal partners to prevent the Greater Sage-Grouse from being listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzes five alternatives, ranging from no action to the withdrawal of approximately 10 million acres of federal locatable minerals in certain areas that are particularly crucial to the Greater Sage-Grouse in six states: Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.

Neither the segregation, nor any subsequent withdrawal, would prohibit ongoing or future mining exploration or extraction operations on valid pre-existing claims.

To develop the proposal and its alternatives, the BLM held public meetings in November 2015 in the six states to gather information and comments about whether to withdraw these areas from the location of new mining claims for up to 20 years. The BLM also incorporated a mineral resource assessment prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey to help develop a reasonably foreseeable development scenario for the draft EIS.

The proposal was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 30, 2016, and carries a 90-day public comment period that will end March 30, 2017. The scheduled open houses are as follows:

February 13
Great Northern Hotel
2 S 1st Street E
Malta, MT 59538
2 to 4 p.m.

February 14
BLM West Desert District Office
2370 S. Decker Lake Blvd
West Valley City, UT 84119
5 to 7 p.m.

February 15
BLM Rock Springs Field Office
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, WY 82901
5 to 7 p.m.

February 16
Shilo Suites
780 Lindsay Blvd
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
5 to 7 p.m.

February 21
Nugget Casino Resort
1100 Nugget Ave.
Sparks, NV 89431
5 to 7 p.m.

February 22
BLM Lakeview District Office
1301 S G Street
Lakeview, OR 97630
5 to 7 p.m.

February 23
Elko Convention Center
700 Moren Way
Elko, NV 89801
5 to 7 p.m.

February 24
Best Western Vista Inn
2645 W Airport Way
Boise, ID 83705
5 to 7 p.m.

This link takes you to a fact sheet, the draft EIS and Notice of Amended Proposed Withdrawal, and a map of the proposed withdrawals. You can comment by mailing written comments to Mark Mackiewicz, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) WO, C/O Price Field Office, 125 South 600 West, Price, Utah 84501 or by submitting electronically to