Act now to protect threatened Washington sagelands

Act now to protect threatened Washington sagelands

Conservation Northwest / Mar 01, 2024 / Action Alert, Protecting Wildlands, Sagelands

Use your voice to ensure renewable energy projects don’t harm sensitive habitat and ecosystems! 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding a virtual open-house meeting and is inviting public comments to update the 2012 Western Solar Plan to develop solar projects more effectively and efficiently. 

Conservation Northwest promotes the transition to renewable energy through careful consideration of energy siting and permitting risks while also sustainably protecting lands, waters, and biodiversity of natural, cultural, and historic resources. We are advocating for the policies and plans to prioritize these sensitive habitats and encourage renewable energy development to be on degraded or previously disturbed lands.  

There is a growing interest in the Columbia Plateau sagelands for renewable energy development. With less than a quarter of our historical shrub-steppe habitat estimated left in the state, there are increasing concerns over the loss or further fragmentation of this critical landscape for many local wildlife species, including elk, mule deer, pronghorn, burrowing owls, greater sage-grouse, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, ferruginous hawks, golden eagles, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits and many more.  

BLM seeks public input and comments about the proposed Western Utility-Scale Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Western Solar Plan). The Western Solar Plan aims to increase renewable energy production by updating and expanding solar energy development on BLM public lands in Washington, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. 

Join the BLM virtual public meeting to learn more about the Western Solar Plan and encourage BLM to support equitable solar energy development in Washington. Please submit your comments by April 18, 2024, on the BLM Register.  

Virtual Meeting 

March 6 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. 

Pre-registration is required at this link

More information can be found here and here.

Sagelands at Spiva Butte. Photo Ferdi Businger