INTERIOR/OBAMA/RYAN ZINKE: “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has ordered his agencies to begin implementing a revised management plan to protect the greater sage grouse, a move that could undo some protections created under the Obama administration.
Among other things, the recommendations compiled by an Interior task force at Mr. Zinke’s request call for potential loosening of sage grouse protections around mineral leasing areas, using states’ conservation plans that provided more flexibility to potential economic development and using potentially increased cattle grazing in some sage grouse areas as a tool to protect the birds’ habitat against wildfire and invasive grasses…
Separately, the Interior secretary also announced Monday [7-7-17] that he is repealing an Obama administration rule that was supposed to go into effect earlier this year that would change the way oil, gas and coal is valued on federal leases, in a way the energy industry had said could make it pay more in royalties. The repeal of the valuation rule, which Mr. Zinke suspended in February, is set to go into effect on Sept. 6.
The actions represent the latest moves by the Trump administration to modify environmental policies established by the previous president. The Obama plan adopted in 2015 relied heavily on setting up habitat zones that in many cases excluded drilling and other land uses. On June 7, Mr. Zinke directed a revised report how to protect sage grouse, whose numbers have plunged across the West in recent decades.”

-Jim Carlton, “Zinke Directs Agencies to Follow New Plan on Sage Grouse Protections,” The Wall Street Journal online, Aug. 7, 2017 04:15pm