BHA applauds stewardship policy aimed at protecting important habitat, facilitating collaborative management strategies with states, tribes and other stakeholders
WASHINGTON – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today commended a decision by the Bureau of Land Management to formalize the conservation of habitat connections, such as migration corridors, for fish and wildlife species, furthering habitat connectivity activities and raising BLM’s work with a range of stakeholders.
The BLM Instructional Memorandum, or IM, will enable the office to scale up its actions in support of migration corridors and other sensitive habitat areas in a substantive and results-oriented manner, bolstering its work on habitat connectivity, permeability, and resilience. in collaboration with the state. and Tribal wildlife managers and other involved entities. The IM also directs the BLM to conduct an assessment of existing priority habitats and the connectivity between them.
Priority activities identified by the BLM in the MI include the following:
- Removal of physical and disturbing barriers to fish and wildlife (eg, removal of hazardous fencing, installation of wildlife-friendly fencing, improvement of fish passages, and construction of wildlife crossings);
- Install signage to mitigate collisions between vehicles and wildlife;
- Seek treatments that promote resilient species composition and native plant community structure;
- Develop and locate water sources and other features to encourage the use of suitable habitats by wildlife in all landscapes;
- Implement travel management and undertake projects that address the impacts of fire, drought and invasive species;
- Support acquisitions of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and/or the Federal Law for the Facilitation of Land Transactions that promote habitat connectivity.
“Big game species need to have access to established migration routes to reach important seasonal habitat,” said John Gale, BHA director of conservation. “The Bureau of Land Management must be a leader in setting expectations and delivering concrete results on how these valuable habitat areas are managed. The policy released today will play a key role in our ability to maintain robust and huntable populations of game species, including but not limited to mule deer, pronghorn, and elk.
“Backcountry Hunters & Anglers applauds BLM’s dedication to conserving and enhancing critical habitat,” Gale continued, “and its commitment to working cooperatively to achieve this goal with a variety of stakeholders, including state and tribal interests, as well as other entities”.
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