WSGA is requesting that the court review the final plan amendments and environmental impact statements for six BLM field offices (Casper, Kemmerer, Newcastle, Pinedale, Rawlins and Rock Springs) and three USFS units (Bridger-Teton National Forest, Medicine Bow National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grasslands.)

The petition asks the court to find the final agency actions arbitrary, beyond the scope of authority and procedurally defective.

WSGA had previously provided comments on the draft plans and had filed a formal protest to the proposed plan amendments and final environmental impact statement. The association’s concerns centered on the plan’s failure to fully adopt provisions related to livestock grazing found in the Wyoming governor’s executive order on sage grouse. Specific issues cited in the protest included failure to distinguish “improper grazing,” the definition of “disruptive activity” and the treatment of voluntary grazing permit relinquishments.

“Our objections were summarily dismissed by the agencies,” notes WSGA Executive Vice President Jim Magagna. However, Magagna recognizes several significant improvements to the draft documents as a result of the efforts of the Wyoming governor’s office and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.


Regarding WSGA’s decision to raise the first legal challenges to the plan amendments, Magagna says, “Wyoming has been the recognized leader in the sage grouse conservation effort. It is important that our federal land agencies ‘get it right’ to assure the continued proactive engagement of the state and its citizens. It is equally important that legal challenges to the plans and their implementation be decided in Wyoming by Wyoming judges. WSGA is pleased that Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), with a strong record of success in natural resource litigation, has agreed to represent us in this case.”  end mark