State Representative Josh Penry, (R) Grand Junction, is urging the federal government to look closely at state and local efforts to maintain Gunnison Sage Grouse populations before considering endangered species protections. The Federal Fish and Wildlife Service is under the gun to determine whether the bird should be listed as an endangered species.
Listing could require significant limits on development and ranching in an effort to save habitat for the bird. In a letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service Penry says recent scientific evidence is showing that the federal government should take a closer look at data before giving the grouse endangered species status.
A Clinton–era policy allows government biologists to use local efforts to determine whether local measures are adequate to ensure recovery of endangered species.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is on a September deadline to make a draft reccommedation on the bird's staus as endangered.
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