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Federal listing of Gunnison sage grouse as 'threatened' is disrespectful

By J. Paul Brown

I am writing to register my displeasure with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list the bird as "threatened" under the endangered Species Act.

It is not rational and it's not respectful, of either Gunnison residents or the Gunnison sage grouse. This is truly disrespectful to the people of Gunnison County and the State of Colorado who have worked cooperatively and creatively to preserve Gunnison Sage Grouse. And it's working!

This is a big part of my district, and I know how hard these folks have worked to protect the Gunnison Sage Grouse. We must fight the feds on this one! I want to thank U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, U.S. Congressmen Scott Tipton and Cory Gardner, and Gov. John Hickenlooper, who have each voiced his outrage with the USF&WS decision as a denial of the successful work that has been done over the past two decades.

My suggestion for continuing the successful recovery of Gunnison Sage Grouse is to carry on without adhering to the guidelines triggered by this regressive decision. Handing control to the federal government of 1.4 million acres of mixed privately and publicly owned property in Southwest Colorado and Southeast Utah is bad policy, in my book.