Montrose rules designed with sage grouse in mind

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Montrose County commissioners are considering regulations that would require a permit before development can take place in areas designated as occupied habitat for the Gunnison sage grouse in an effort to prevent the bird from being listed under the federal Endangered Species Act that would further restrict development.

Commissioners hope to prove to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that there are adequate local management strategies for species preservation in place.

As part of the wildlife impact mitigation regulations, commissioners began reviewing a Gunnison sage grouse occupied habitat map, based on state Department of Parks and Wildlife information. The map would establish areas of state interest in Montrose County that contain or have significant impact on natural resources important statewide.

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