Waiving goodbye to wildlife protection
A more telling presentation of the effect of such stipulations on oil and gas activities can be found at www.wy.blm.gov/pfo/wildlife.htm. It is the Pinedale BLM Field Office’s summary of “exceptions” (ie, waivers) to wildlife stipulations granted to oil and gas operators during the past season.
Of 173 requests for waivers from the stipulations protecting sage grouse, the BLM granted every one. This, despite the fact that sage grouse are rapidly dwindling on lands managed by the BLM. A similar situation exists for raptors — and for big game winter habitat, the BLM turned down just one waiver request.
The industry whines and complains that it is laboring under horrible “restrictions and impediments” to drilling. But the BLM seldom turns down the industry’s demands to be exempted from protective wildlife stipulations that they agreed to honor when they purchased the lease.