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Senator Merkley called out for remarks on Greater Sage-Grouse

February 14, 2018

Cattlemen: Senator Merkley Sage Grouse Statements “Regrettable” and “Out of Touch”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and NCBA Federal Lands, issued the following statement in response to Senator Jeff Merkley’s statements on the 2015 Land Use Plan Amendments for the Greater-Sage Grouse :

“The statements from Senator Merkley are a regrettable example of an elected official wildly out of touch with his constituents. If Senator Merkley had bothered to read the letter written by the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association just weeks ago, he would have known that ranchers and local land managers in his state have spoken out against the flawed 2015 Land Use Plan Amendments for the Greater-Sage Grouse. Real environmental stewards oppose a one-size-fits-all approach that neglects local knowledge and runs roughshod over the efforts of state governments. On behalf of his constituents, Mr. Merkley should welcome the Department of Interior’s review and work with the ranching community to chart a path forward that protects both the bird and local economies.”

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Background

Today Senator Merkley released a letter signed by him and other Senate Democrats criticizing the Administration’s decision to modify the 2015 Land Use Plan Amendments for the Greater-Sage Grouse. In a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing, Senator Merkley also gave the following quote when referencing a rancher he supposedly spoke with recently:
“He also talked to me about his concern with sage grouse. We have a voluntary program where ranchers can essentially adopt a certain number of measures and then they are protected from any rules the Endangered Species Act may evoke in the future by having been upfront and helping. We have hundreds of ranchers sign up for this in Oregon. I’m not really asking a question but noting that they are very concerned about the partnership they put together to try and avoid a listing might fall apart under some of the pressures from the current administration.”

In an official letter on January 10, 2018, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) urged the Department of Interior to change the 2015 Oregon Greater-Sage Grouse Management Plan. OCA Executive Director Jerome Rosa was quoted as saying: “There is some confusion in Washington, D.C., that Oregon is the only western state that is not supportive of amendments to the sage grouse plan, which is tremendously worrisome.”

In October, Nevada rancher J.J. Goicoechea testified about the flawed 2015 Plan in Congress. He said:
“Why don’t we listen to state and local officials and implement plans that were developed at the ground level? The top down approach has continued to squeeze public land industries all while continuing to lose sensitive habitats and imperil wildlife species. If the true goal is conservation, put it back in the hands of those closest to the land. If the goal instead is to remove economic drivers from rural communities with no desire to protect habitats, then continue on the path we are on.”

  
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Discuss this article

Tim Smith February 14, 2018

Merkley is an environmental whacko idiot. He dances to any tune the eviro-far left plays. he needs to get a life in another state!!

Bob Clark February 16, 2018

I Hope Senator Smerkley runs for the Democratic nomination for President of the U.S. in 2020 and other Oregonians run to replace him in the Senate; making it harder for him to get back into the Senate race; after he ends up bombing out in the U.S. Presidential Primary in the first Super Tuesday.

A blissful scenario: where Smerkley is left with no seat to govern us all. If he were to run as an independent after bombing out as he would in the primary presidential race, then this could be good too. He might end up splitting the lefty vote, handing his Senate seat to a GOP candidate.

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