Saving the Greater Sage-Grouse One Lek at a Time

/, Conservation, Greater Sage-Grouse, Utah, Wayne County/Saving the Greater Sage-Grouse One Lek at a Time

Greater Sage-Grouse on a Utah lekGreater Sage-Grouse on a Utah lek

The recent decision to not list Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act is seen by some as a “good thing” and by others a “bad thing”. The grouse and their habitat is still at risk regardless of that decision.

So, perhaps we can be more productive if we start saving the Greater Sage-Grouse one lek at a time.

I am asking for your help today to save the Alton Sink Valley Lek which is the southernmost active sage-grouse lek in North America by signing a petition to help convince the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reject the Alton Coal Mine Expansion Project Proposal.

Fighting Greater Sage-GrouseFighting Greater Sage-Grouse

The Alton Sink Valley Lek is within the proposed expansion area of the Alton coal mine expansion project and this lek would be severely impacted if the BLM decides to allow the destruction of approximately 3,500 acres of Utah‘s public lands. This strip mine would destroy habitat, negatively affect wildlife, water and air quality and regional tourism.

A Greater Sage-Grouse displaying on a Utah lekA Greater Sage-Grouse displaying on a Utah lek

The proposed expansion area that contains the Alton Sink Valley Lek isn’t that far from Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park which are national treasures and would be impacted by this proposed expansion. The tract is located in Kane County, Utah, approximately 0.10 mile south of the town of Alton and 2.9 miles east of U.S Route 89.  (Google map of the area)

Many of you who visit my blog are nature lovers, birders, plus bird, wildlife and landscape photographers who know exactly what a treasure the parks and wildlife in this area are.

Greater Sage-Grouse battling on a lekGreater Sage-Grouse battling on a lek

Please read what Rahul Mukherjee, sage-grouse conservationist, has written on the petition then please sign and share it with every nature lover that you know because the habitat destruction that would occur if this expansion is approved by the BLM will not only affect the grouse but every living thing within and near the those 3,500 acres of the proposed expansion area.

Anyone can can sign this petition, you do not need to be a Utah resident.

Thank you all in advance!

We can still save the Greater Sage-Grouse one lek at a time.

Life is good.


Read more about the work that Rahul Mukherjee is doing to save the Greater Sage-Grouse in Utah in this interview by Cornell Lab concerning the Sagebrush Sea and how he worked to save the Henefer lek here in northern Utah.  This young man is a gift to us all.

Also see this video created by Wildlife Guardians to see Rahul speak about why he started to work on sage-grouse conservation.

Rahul, myself and others are so very grateful for what you do and I am looking forward to seeing the great things that you do in the future!


  1. Carolyn December 7, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Just signed – – thank you for alerting me and for sharing your amazing photographs every day!

    • Mia McPherson December 7, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks so much Carolyn.

  2. Jo Ann Donnelly December 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Happy to sign the petition, Mia!! I saw PBS’s program The Sage Sea” and the strip mining will have a terrible effect on way too many wildlife. Loved you photos of the Sage Grouse!!

    • Mia McPherson December 7, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      Thanks so much Jo Ann.

  3. Utahbooklover December 7, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Thank you Mia for these wonderful images and your info filled post. And I signed too.

    • Mia McPherson December 7, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Thank you UtahBookLover!

  4. Elephant's Child December 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Sighned. Of course. And the sigh in sign(h) was deliberate. How I wish it wasn’t necessary.

    • Mia McPherson December 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you EC, thank you so much for caring from so far away.

  5. Patty Chadwick December 7, 2015 at 10:29 am

    I have never forgotten the sight of a destroyed mountain… turned upside down , turned inside-out by the Kennicott Copper Mine in Utah–a mountaind raped, fowled, and then abandoned…..a small poisonous ” lake” of beautiful, turqouise blue water at the bottom temaining…the sides of the enormous cavity ringed with track-bearing “plateaus” for the trains to traverse so they could bring their “treasure” up to the top. This “treasure”(copper) to be sent to Japan, processed and sold back to us at a HUGE profit….

    • Mia McPherson December 7, 2015 at 10:47 am

      Sadly Patty, Kennicot is still in operation and is still just as ugly an eye sore as when we both first saw it. About the only time I can stomach looking in its direction is when there is a thick layer of snow covering the ground up there. Other wise I cringe when looking at it. I know the snow just covers it but for a few seconds I can almost pretend that it isn’t there.

      There are still pollution issues connected with Kennicot as well including particulates in the air and heavy minerals that find their way into the Great Salt Lake.

  6. Patty Chadwick December 7, 2015 at 10:11 am

    PS. Thanks for bringing this to our attention and spearheading signing….I’m so very grateful for people like you…I just wish there were more like you… and FAR LESS of the other kind! The older I get, the more deptessed and outraged I am that they even exist….and have such a heavy, blindly destructive, negative impact on all that is good and beautiful…I can’t accept their blindness gracefully….

  7. Patty Chadwick December 7, 2015 at 8:07 am

    “…you don’t have to be a Utah resident” …. The implied assininity of this statement blows my mind!!! The concept of chopping up this country, this world we share, into to separate “ownerships” just seems so blindly stupid. I feel what “belongs” to my state belongs to everyone, and “Theirs” to me…we share a universe. We should care about and protect all the besutiful and good that’s in it….not “own it”, not exploit it. Whenever something like this decision happens, you know there’e greed, selfishness,stupidity, politics and money behind it…soooo shortsighted and sad!!!

    • Mia McPherson December 7, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Patty, I only mentioned that you don’t have to be a Utah resident because the lek is located here and some people might think that only Utah residents can sign the petition and because it is public land anyone, any where can sign this. A few times that I have posted other petitions they were only open to Utah resident, like the stupid Crow Hunt that was voted in here.

      We need to keep the coal in the ground and protect the habitat as well for these grouse!

      Thank you so much for signing the petition!

      • Patty Chadwick December 7, 2015 at 9:54 am

        I know what you meant, Mia…and why you said it. It raised my hackles because what happens ANYWHERE effects ALL of us…we Share a fragile universe, we “own” NOTHING!!! And I am so sick of short term, short sighted, greed-driven decisions I could almost spit ground glass!!!

  8. Marilyn, Dania Beach , FL December 7, 2015 at 8:06 am


    • Mia McPherson December 7, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Thank you very much for signing Marilyn!

  9. Mia McPherson December 7, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Thank you for signing Dave and Bobby, much appreciated!

  10. dave sparks December 7, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Signed. Thanks for posting this. Would not have known about this otherwise.

  11. Bob Mcpherson December 7, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Absolutely Beautiful pictures,Mia

Comments are closed.