BCAS Radio Show - GUSG
- Hi - tune in to KVNF at noon tomorrow (Friday) for the Black Canyon
Audubon show. Bill and I will be interviewing Erin Robertson, a staff
biologist at the Center for Native Ecosystem. We will be talking about
the recent de-listing of the Gunnison Sage Grouse.
The Center for Native Ecosystem filed a Notice of Intent to Sue against
the USFW for Violations of the Endangered Species Act over the GUSG
listing. The San Miguel County Commissioners recently filed a Notice of
Intent to Sue, on June 6, I believe.
The USFW study said the GUSG population has remained stable over the
past decade. But most people say it is a politcal, not scientific
decision. The data analysis is flawed.
I think a key question is to ask given that the rangewide plan has
identified over 91% habitat loss for the species, how is it possible
that the population could remain stable for a bird with such strong site
Basically, the study implies that somehow 5,000 - 10,000 birds have
moved out of the historic range but not been reduced in population size.
And how does oil and gas come in to play? If the grouse had been listed,
the BLM would have halted oil and gas drilling in vacant potential
habitat near the smaller populations. Now, suddenly over 50,000 acres in
western Montrose county are being put up for oil and gas lease sales,
most near Naturita, Uravan and south of Sewewup Mesa. Compare this to
4,500 acres in Garfield county and 8,400 acres in Mesa county. Quite a
bit of land right after the GUSG is de-listed.