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Neighbor States Grouse about Grouse Listing

January 4, 2013 State of Wyoming No Comments
Prairie Chicken

The members of the Western Governors’ Association has issued a statement decrying the fact that the federal government is proposing to list the Sharp-tail Grouse – formally known as the Lesser Prairie Chicken – as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.  In a joint statement, the governors wrote that the leaders of the five states that serve as habitat for the bird, quoting now, “we are disappointed the US Fish and Wildlife Service released a proposed rule for listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act.”  They point out in the letter that the states have worked with a wide variety of interest groups to develop state conservation plans designed to improve habitat for the species while also taking into account economic development needs.  The letter goes on, “We strongly believe that the collective efforts of our states, along with the commitments from industry and private landowners throughout the Southern Great Plains to conserve the Lesser Prairie Chicken will demonstrate the states’ abilities to effectively manage the species and support a ‘not warranted’ listing decision by the Service in September 2013.  The letter was signed by the governors of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.  Meanwhile, Wyoming is currently working on conserving habitat for a cousin to the bird, the Sage Grouse hoping to head off similar federal intervention.

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