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Sage Grouse Proposed Mineral Withdrawal added to Mining Claims Maps


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I've added the Sage Grouse proposed Mineral Withdrawal display to the Mining Claims Maps for the five affected states. It's a separate layer you will have to turn on to see.

This map has been heavily requested. Check it out while you can since the BLM is known for disappearing maps without notice.

This map was not easy to find. It's not going to be easy to use either because the BLM is serving it up in a light dirt color that blends with just about every base map layer. Now is a good time to learn to use the transparency tool found by right clicking the layer you want to change the transparency on.

The affected States Mining Claim Maps are linked here:






Here's the description of the Map information from the BLM. As you can see the map isn't accurate because the boundaries of the final withdrawal won't be decided until after it's passed. :BangHead:

The areas recommended for locatable mineral withdrawal dataset were compiled from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) Conservation Strategy, which includes Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for the revision or amendment of 98 Forest Service and BLM land use plans. Data reflect the areas of Sagebrush Focal Areas, a subset of GRSG Priority Habitat Management Areas, which are recommended for withdrawal from the Mining Law of 1872 in the Records of Decisions for the Approved Resource Management Plans and Amendments.

DISCLAIMER: No warranty is made by the BLM or FS for the use of this data. The GIS data included on this page is intended for broad planning purposes only and should not be solely relied upon for any decision making. Accuracy of the GIS is limited to the accuracy of the data available to create these layers at the time of this project. The information contained on the map is used to generally locate and identify the lands that are proposed for withdrawal in the sage brush focal areas and is for reference purposes only. They should not be construed or used as legal descriptions. Detailed maps and legal descriptions will be developed at a later date.

We are trying to figure out a way to get a list of the affected claims from this information. If we succeed we will make a list and share it on the Land Matters website.

Please pass these maps around. It's your Land and it Matters.


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Well, the sage grouse is in big trouble. But the problem isn't use of its range...it's destruction of its habitat by fires. Cheatgreass got a toehold, and is burning its way across the western sagebrush country......to the tune of 20 million acres so far. Nothern Nevada, several years ago, lost 10 million acres of sage in one summer. No sage, no grouse. It's that simple. They won't save the grouse until they figure a way to defeat cheatgrass. The native grass species grow in clumps, so they make for poor fire fuels. The cheatgrass grows in a "carpet", and it burns about every 4 years. I've seen our desert here, in about 35 years, go from 95% sage, 5% grass to its exact opposite. I can remember flocks of grouse in the hundreds.....now I rarely see one. Is that bad?...everybody has to decide for themselves. Will closing the land to mining make a difference...probably not.


Edited by Idaho Jim
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The Sage Grouse isn't in trouble Jim. After 5 years of studies across the west with many committees and reports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife agency declared the Sage Grouse was NOT endangered or threatened and completely took it off the endangered and threatened list. It's in no more trouble than house cats or sparrows. In fact the studies showed that the Sage Grouse population is increasing.

On September 22 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced:

A status review conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service has found that the greater sage-grouse remains relatively abundant and well-distributed across the species’ 173-million acre range and does not face the risk of extinction now or in the foreseeable future.

Two days later the Secretary of the Interior announces the planned mineral withdrawal of 9 million acres of Sage Grouse habitat.

In August a month before the Sage Grouse delisting this was released:

New research from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies suggests greater sage-grouse populations are strongly on the rebound after a period of cyclical decline. Numbers of this charismatic rangeland bird normally fluctuate by 30 to 40 percent in response to climatic conditions, so rapid increases like the one WAFWA documented between 2013 and 2015 are not unusual. WAFWA's population trend analysis, conducted with the most recent state monitoring data, suggests a minimum spring breeding population of 432,000 greater sage-grouse in 2015

This withdrawal is about Department of the Interior agency overreach when they didn't get the wished for endangered designation. It was simply a knee jerk punishment for not getting what they wanted.

It's got nothing to do with Sage Grouse and everything to do with childish grousing over the administration not getting the political Christmas present they wanted.

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I only offer what I see on the ground, Clay. I don't care about studies, etc....they're mostly bent in the direction of the people sponsoring them. One of the saddest sights I've seen in the outdoors occurred 2 years ago in the spring. A buddy and i were going detecting on the desert, and drove by a lek (sage grouse mating ground). There was one lone male...that's it one bird...doing his best to attract a female. In the old days, there would have been 2 dozen birds on that lek. So, the grouse is in trouble...at least in Idaho, and everybody here knows it. Very few hunters will even kill one now, given the opportunity. Is the grouse likely to disappear tomorrow...of course not. Is the population at a bottom?...nobody knows. I dislike the closure as much as anyone, don't doubt that. I'd feel better about it if I thought it would help.


Edited by Idaho Jim
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