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Bureau of Land Management
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Dwight Fielder
(202) 452-7761
Sharon Wilson
(202) 452-5130

BLM Joins National Groups in Wildlife Work

Partnerships will Enhance Success of Federal Projects

In the spirit of Cooperative Conservation as directed by President Bush, the Bureau of Land Management will sign agreements this week with two wildlife organizations that expand partnerships for conservation. The signings will take place at the 70th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Arlington, Virginia.

BLM Director Kathleen Clarke said, “We welcome this opportunity to renew our existing Memorandum of Understanding with The Wildlife Society. This memorandum recognizes the important role the group plays in disseminating research findings throughout state and federal agencies, and it encourages BLM biologists to earn professional certification through The Wildlife Society.”

"The Wildlife Society is excited to renew and expand our partnership to enhance the scientific capabilities of BLM wildlife professionals," said Tom Franklin, Acting Executive Director, The Wildlife Society.

Director Clarke added, “We will also sign a new MOU that will allow cooperation and cost sharing between the BLM and the North American Grouse Partnership (NAGP). This agreement will focus on improving grouse management -- primarily prairie and sage habitats -- to meet public demands for both viewing and hunting opportunities on BLM-managed public land.”

“The BLM manages over half of the sage-grouse habitat in the Western United States, so we are pleased to form this partnership with them,” said James Mosher, Executive Director of the NAGP. “Under this MOU we will be cooperating with the BLM for the primary purpose of maintaining or improving the productivity of grouse habitat on BLM-administered public lands.”

The North American Grouse Partnership emphasizes the use of sound science in grouse management and focuses on cooperative management strategies involving federal and state agencies, landowners, conservation groups, resource users, and Native American constituencies. The organization also recognizes multiple use of public land when appropriate standards and guidelines are applied to prevent net declines in suitable grouse habitat.

“All BLM activities are guided by a multiple-use mandate, and this agreement with NAGP will further that mission by maintaining or improving healthy prairie and sage populations on BLM public lands,” said Clarke. “This will also give us a basis to initiate additional local agreements that focus on site-specific habitat improvement or research.”

The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages 261 million acres of public lands, primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska, and 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, cultural and other resources on the public lands.

The NAGP is a registered non-profit organization founded in 2000 by a coalition of academic and agency wildlife biologists, ranchers, attorneys, doctors and veterinarians concerned about the decline of grassland and sage-dependent grouse species in North America.

The Wildlife Society was founded in 1937 and serves as the professional organization for wildlife biologists and managers. It is dedicated to the use of sound science in making wildlife policy decisions; enhancement of the knowledge and capabilities of wildlife professionals; promoting professional standards for wildlife research, education and management; and recognizing the professional stewardship of wildlife resources.