The State of Utah, in promulgating rules for protecting and enhancing the Greater Sage-Grouse, recently released for public comment Rule R634-3. For UFBF and our partner K-COE, the proposed rule has two troubling flaws. First, the rule proposes state government will create and sell credits that would undermine a private market ultimately excluding private sector investment. Second, the draft does not appear to recognize the importance of conserving and enhancing existing habitat that would disadvantage farmers and ranchers who have been good stewards and have been making accommodations for the bird. The proposed rule and mitigation efforts would be focused almost entirely on restoring habitat rather than preserving habitat.
UFBF has submitted comments to the Department of Natural Resources recommending that private mitigation markets be developed in Utah and that providing incentives to good stewards who have already protected critical habitat should be a part of the state’s strategy. Not just a program aimed at restoring habitat. UFBF offered a red-line edited R634-3 to improve the proposed rule. Read UFBF's comments HERE.