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Recommended Route for Western Transmission Line Another Blow for Sage-Grouse


May 1, 2015

Contact: Courtney Sexton, csexton@defenders.org, 202.772.0253

Recommended Route for Western Transmission Line Another Blow for Sage-Grouse

“TransWest” line would impact imperiled species and undermine conservation planning in Colorado

WASHINGTON— The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today published a preferred route for the TransWest Express transmission corridor through four western states that would have harmful impacts on greater sage-grouse, desert tortoise and other wildlife. The BLM rejected less destructive alternative routes that could have been built on already disturbed lands and along existing corridors, such as state highways. Instead, the selected alternative cuts through important wildlife habitat, including core sage-grouse habitat identified as a priority for conservation by state and federal biologists in Colorado. Today’s decision comes just a month before federal conservation plans will be released for greater sage-grouse in Colorado and across the West.

The following is a statement from Mark Salvo, Director of Federal Lands Conservation with Defenders of Wildlife:

“The BLM is undermining its own national greater sage-grouse conservation planning process. The TransWest route they’ve chosen slices right through the heart of the last best sage-grouse habitat in northwestern Colorado. This area is considered a stronghold for the species. This decision is simply irresponsible, especially given the availability of other viable routes for the line.”


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @defendersnews.