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Sage Grouse to ES List?

February 25, 2010

The following appeared Feb. 23, 2010 as a Field Note on the Field & Stream website.  It’s of particular interest out here in far western South Dakota as we’re seeing a steady decline in sage grouse numbers and habitat.  We can’t assume they’ve simply packed up like the Joad’s and moved to Wyoming anymore.  This will cause some cowboys heartburn; another pesky critter in competition with their cows.

— JM

February 23, 2010

American Bird Conservancy: Sage Grouse Belongs On Endangered Species List

From an American Bird Conservancy press release:

Citing that numbers of the Greater Sage-Grouse have dramatically diminished in recent decades, and the continued expansion of energy developments that threaten the species’ sagebrush habitat, the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) today called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the status of the Greater Sage-Grouse, and is expected to announce its findings at the end of February. The numbers of Greater Sage-Grouse have dropped precipitously – with a loss of more than 30% in the last 25 years, according to recent reports…

ABC is concerned that the core area development standards in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wyoming Sage Grouse Management Plan are insufficient to ensure stable populations over the long term…

[Says ABC president George Fenwick:] “We can’t possibly be satisfied with a plan that merely slows down the loss of sage-grouse.  This simply postpones the inevitable.”

The causes for the decline of sage-grouse are varied, and include the loss or degradation of habitat arising from grazing and agriculture, energy…

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