Gardner, Daines Encourage Committee to Delay Sage Grouse Listing

sage_grouse-300Yesterday Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner and Montana Congressman Steve Daines sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment requesting that authorized federal funds from the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) program be transferred to states working to implement local conservation plans for the greater sage grouse. Gardner and Daines both voted to authorize those conservation funds in the 2014 Farm Bill. The letter follows Gardner and Daines’ introduction of the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act, which seeks to prevent a federal listing for ten years, to give states a chance to work to safeguard the species.  Gardner is running against Mark Udall in the upcoming Senate election.  Udall opposes the Gardner plan, saying that the threat of a listing is needed to force states, including Colorado, to implement conservation efforts.  However, conservation efforts in Colorado have been underway for nearly two decades.  Lawmakers and elected officials representing western Colorado say the listing is a ruse, intended to lock up land, and preventing energy development in western states.  You can read the full letter from Gardner and Daines by clicking here.