BLM and Fish and Wildlife Presents One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Sage Grouse

sage_grouse-300Yesterday, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) stressed that state and local involvement is a necessity as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) revises 11 resource management plans (RMP) in Colorado and Utah. The BLM proposal, which would impact 800,000 acres in the states, comes on the heels of a district court decision in May to grant a six month extension of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision deadline on the proposed endangered species listing of the Gunnison sage grouse.  Local officials are disappointed with the BLM and the Fish and Wildlife Service, as their latest proposal is, again, a one-size-fits-all approach.  States would like to continue the successful conservation programs they have created.  The Moffat County Commissioners were told yesterday, the reason for the all-encompassing approach is litigation protection, prompting the commissioners to reiterate their belief that a Sage Grouse listing would not be about protecting the bird, but rather about controlling land in the West.  Tipton, a vocal advocate of locally-tailored preservation efforts for the sage grouse, has co-sponsored legislation that would prevent a listing of the grouse for ten years to give state and local plans like those underway in Colorado the opportunity to succeed in preserving the species.