Alternatives demanded for greater Sage Grouse habitat planning

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RIFLE, Colo. (KKCO) A number of groups banded together in Rifle to officially request that Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources to be active participants in planning efforts for the greater sage grouse.

Officials say the Bureau of Land Management is not listening to their concerns as it moves forward with drafting management plan amendments for lands considered to be the bird's habitat.

"We need him to get boots on the ground here be part of us join with us," Mike Samson, Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.

Commissioners from Rio Blanco, Garfield, Moffat and Mesa Counties along with representatives from other agencies around the Western Slope believe the BLM's map of the bird's habitat covers too much land.

Governor Hickenlooper responded to the issue and said, "Given the unique landscapes and natural resources in Colorado, a Colorado-based solution is more practical that one handed down by the federal government."

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