Protect Our Public Lands

Environment America speaks up for Utah’s most vulnerable critters

Wildlife habitats shouldn't be leased to oil and gas companies. The rich biodiversity and precious species they hold are far too fragile to withstand the damage that drilling will bring.

Bob Wick, BLM | CC-BY-2.0

Last month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed leasing over 16,000 acres in Utah to oil and gas development. These areas overlap with critical habitats for endangered black-footed ferrets and greater sage-grouse.

Environment America delivered a petition from nearly 4,000 supporters asking the BLM not to allow drilling in critical habitat.

Just over 200 black-footed ferrets live in the wild, originally thought extinct in 1980. Luckily, an undiscovered population survived and spurred conservation efforts, but these adorable mammals risk perishing if their habitat is drilled for oil and gas.

Another vulnerable species is the greater sage-grouse. Since 1965, the species has lost 80% of its original range. The Bureau’s proposed leasing area includes more than 7,500 acres of the striking bird’s territory, and they can’t survive if their already diminished home is pockmarked with drills and wells.

Wildlife habitats shouldn’t be leased to oil and gas companies. The rich biodiversity and precious species they hold are far too fragile to withstand the damage that drilling will bring.

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