Lawmakers Applaud Delay of Gunnison Sage Grouse Decision

sage_grouse-300Lawmakers from Colorado welcomed a D.C. District Court judge’s decision yesterday to grant the U.S. Fish and Wildfire Service and other litigants a six-month extension of the decision deadline on the proposed Endangered Species Act listing of the Gunnison sage grouse.  The state of Colorado and communities in Southwest Colorado have collaborated and invested in Gunnison sage-grouse conservation for nearly 20 years. The possibility that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could list the bird as an endangered species and designate more than 1.7 million acres in western Colorado and eastern Utah as critical habitat has spurred continued collaboration among local government and community stakeholders to develop an expanded grassroots plan to preserve the species.  The same is happening with the Greater Sage Grouse in Northwest Colorado.  Colorado’s lawmakers say the additional time will give the state and local communities additional opportunities to come together with federal agencies and implement a science-based plan that preserves Colorado’s special way of life while also preserving the unique wildlife that call it home.