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The Endangered Species Act

   

Gunnison Sage-Grouse becomes a Candidate Species
  September 27, 2010 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that Gunnison sage-grouse are 'warranted but precluded' from listing under the Endangered Species Act.
  Experts and Coloradans respond to the decision
 
Conservationists lament "candidate" status
The Gunnison sage-grouse is distinct from greater sage-grouse, identified by researchers as early as the 1970s and recognized as a new species by the American Ornithologists' Union in 2000. While its historic range included parts of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona, the species now occurs only in small, isolated populations centered around the Gunnison Basin in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah.

Gunnison sage-grouse are smaller than greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), and have distinct genetic, morphological and behavioral characteristics. Like the greater sage-grouse, the Gunnison sage-grouse is known for its impressive mating ritual, although it differs (slightly) from that of greater sage-grouse. Gunnison sage-grouse males have more noticeable white barring in their sharply pointed tail feathers (retrices), which are also longer than are those of greater sage-grouse. Gunnison sage-grouse males also have longer, thicker filoplumes (hairlike feathers extending back from the nape of the neck) than greater sage-grouse males, which they use more conspicuously by tossing them above their heads during the strut.

Livestock grazing, energy development, motorized recreation, and poor land use planning threaten Gunnison sage-grouse and its habitat. Conservation organizations petitioned to list the grouse under the Endangered Species Act in 2000. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally declared species as a candidate for protection in 2010. Unfortunately, the new status offers no formal protection for the grouse and harmful land uses may continue to threaten the species.
Status Review and Petition to List the Gunnison Sage Grouse
On September 27, 2010, more than a year after agreeing to reconsider its previous negative listing decision for Gunnison sage-grouse, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the species is "warranted but precluded" from protection under the Endangered Species Act. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination for the Gunnison Sage-grouse as a Threatened or
Endangered Species; Proposed Rule
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final listing rule for Gunnison sage-grouse on April 18, 2006, pursuant to a settlement agreement with petitioning organizations. The agency denied the species "threatened" or "endangered status under the Endangered Species Act, and removed the grouse from the Candidate Species list. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Listing Determination for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as Threatened or Endangered
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published its 2004 Candidate [species] Notice of Review on May 11, 2005. The Gunnison sage-grouse remained at listing priority "2" (see p. 24893). Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That Are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions;
Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions; Proposed Rule
On May 4, 2004, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service increased the candidate species priority rank for Gunnison sage grouse from "5" to "2", the highest possible rank for this species (see p. 24881). Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Species That Are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions; Notice of Review; Proposed Rule. 50 CFR 24876.

  Gunnison Sage Grouse Images

Gunnison Sage Grouse Colorado Matters March 6, 2006. Colorado Public Radio


Gunnison Sage Grouse Factsheet
Salvo, Goodtimes "Gunnison Sage-grouse Need ESA Protection" (opinion-editorial)
Gunnison Sage Grouse Occupied Habitat Map
Audubon Society. America's Top Ten Most Endangered Birds. National Audubon Society. Washington, DC. (March 2006) (4 mb)


Salt Lake Tribune State seeks a protective designation for rare bird (10/31/07)
Grand Junction Sentinel County doesn't want sage grouse protection (10/11/07)
Gunnison Country Times ESA probe points to tampering (9/27/07)
Denver Post Ex-wildlife official's interference cited (9/25/07)
Denver Post Rare bird fights for survival (4/23/07)
  SIDEBAR: Denver Post Lawsuit targets Interior official (4/23/07)
Telluride Daily Planet Sage grouse get a lawyer (11/20/06)
Montrose Daily Times San Miguel County, 9 other groups file suit over grouse (11/16/06)
Telluride Watch County joins lawsuit to protect sage-grouse (6/27/06)
Telluride Watch Advocates say Gunnison sage-grouse needs protection (5/12/06)
Telluride Watch COMMENTARY: Group still working to protect the Gunnison sage-grouse (5/5/06)
Grand Junction Free Press OP-ED: Feds care little about sage grouse (4/27/06)
Telluride Watch Bad news, good news for sage grouse (4/21/06)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Sage grouse will keep BLM protections (4/15/06)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel EDITORIAL: A sage ruling or not? (4/16/06)
Salt Lake Tribune Feds dismiss threat to sage grouse (4/14/06)
Montrose Daily Press Gunnison sage-grouse won't get ESA protection (4/13/06)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Gunnison sage grouse left off endangered list (4/12/06)
AP (multiple) Gunnison sage grouse won't be put on list (4/13/06)
Gunnison Country Times Feds say sage grouse 'not warranted' for listing (4/13/06)
Rocky Mountain News Feds: Gunnison grouse not 'threatened' (4/13/06)
Vail Daily Resort backs changes to wildlife law (11/21/05)
Crested Butte News Landowners signing on to protect sage grouse habitat (10/?/05)
Gunnison Country Times Sage grouse decision delayed (9/29/05)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Changes to Endangered Species Act could remove roadblocks to energy development (9/10/05)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Allard spearheads effort to revamp Endangered Species Act (9/10/05)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Club 20 calls for feds’ cooperation in preserving sage grouse (9/10/05)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Gunnison sage grouse numbers on the rise (7/28/05)
Rocky Mountain News DOW: Sage grouse numbers on rise (7/28/05)
Crested Butte News Impact of sage grouse listing still under discussion (5/20/05)
Cortez Journal Wildlife officials will discuss Gunnison sage grouse issues (5/17/05)
Rocky Mountain News Plan may keep bird off endangered list (5/14/05)
Daily Herald (UT) BLM nets $1.3M from oil, gas leases (5/13/05)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Mineral lease auction nets BLM nearly $1.4M (5/13/05)
Crested Butte News Potential sage grouse listing concerns ranchers (5/13/05)
Telluride Daily Planet Montrose addresses drilling (4/05/05)
Telluride Watch Feds consider listing Gunnison sage grouse (3/25/05)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Grouse decline has feds working (11/15/04)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Federal listing could endanger sage grouse (11/25/03)
Environmental News Network Grouse over the Gunnison (9/30/00)
Denver Post Lawsuit: list grouse as endangered (9/30/00)
Environment News Service Endangered species find little refuge under Clinton (2/04/00)
Salt Lake Tribune Activists seek to protect sage grouse (2/04/00)
Steamboat Pilot Local group working to avoid Gunnison sage grouse situation (1/30/00)
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Coalition asks government to list Gunnison sage grouse (1/28/00)
Denver Post Endangered listing for grouse could raise ruckus (1/27/00)
Associated Press Groups seek protection for Gunnison sage grouse (1/27/00)
Montrose Daily Press Something to grouse about (1/24/00)
Montrose Daily Press New grouse species tracked on Western Slope (12/30/99)


Gunnison Sage-grouse Gets Another Chance at Protection
  August 19, 2009 A western Colorado county and conservation organizations have agreed to settle a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service challenging its April 2006 negative listing decision for Gunnison sage-grouse. The agency will prepare a new listing decision for the species by June 30, 2010.
Gunnison Sage-grouse May Get Federal Protection
  March 24, 2009 The Fish and Wildlife Service has filed a notice in federal court stating that, in light of the latest investigation of the Bush Administration's misapplication of the Endangered Species Act, the agency will reconsider its decision to deny protection to the Gunnison sage-grouse.
New Listing Decision for Gunnison Sage-grouse?
  February 12, 2009 The Fish and Wildlife Service has filed a notice with the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC stating that, in light of the latest investigative report on Bush Administration interference in the administration of the ESA, the agency may reconsider its position in current litigation over its refusal to protect Gunnison sage-grouse under the ESA in April 2006.
Gunnison Sage-grouse Makes Top 10 List of Species in Need of Protection
  December 16, 2008 The Gunnison sage-grouse is among the top ten species most in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to a report by the Endangered Species Coalition.
Fish and Wildlife Service Document Reveals Tainted Listing Decision for Gunnison Sage-grouse
  September 24, 2007 A U.S Fish and Wildlife Service memorandum provides new evidence that former Deputy Assistant Secretary Julie MacDonald, and the Fish and Wildlife Service Washington and Regional offices frustrated and prevented agency biologists from recommending that the Service list Gunnison sage-grouse as "endangered" or "threatened" under the ESA.
Sagebrush Listed Among Most Threatened Bird Habitats in U.S.
  February 7, 2007 The American Bird Conservancy has ranked sagebrush third among the twenty most threatened bird habitats in the United States. The ABC report identifies livestock grazing, invasive species and fire as continuing threats to sagebrush steppe.
San Miguel County Leads Coalition Challenging Gunnison Sage-grouse 'Not Warranted" Listing Determination
November 15, 2006 San Miguel County (CO) and citizen organizations filed a lawsuit today in federal court challenging the failure of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the Gunnison sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
Bush Administration Officials Reverse Endangered Species Listing for Gunnison Sage-grouse
  October 30, 2006 Documents received from the Fish and Wildlife Service reveal that Bush Administration officials reversed the agency's recommendation to list Gunnison sage-grouse as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act.
San Miguel County Joins Coalition Seeking Gunnison Sage-Grouse Protection
June 5, 2006 San Miguel County in Colorado has formally joined an effort to protect the Gunnison sage-grouse under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Bush Administration Denies Protection to Gunnison Sage-Grouse under Endangered Species Act
  April 12, 2006 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has denied protection to the Gunnison sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists have warned that Gunnison sage-grouse may become extinct without protection.
Federal Court Throws Out Endangered Species Act Policy Nationwide
  June 3, 2004 In a ruling with national significance, a federal court ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop using its Petition Management Guidance system to avoid listing "candidate species" under the Endangered Species Act
    Court Injunction, American Lands Alliance, et al. v. Gale Norton, et al.
Conservation Groups Seek Emergency Listing for Gunnison Sage Grouse
  March 17, 2004 A coalition of conservation organizations filed litigation in Washington, D.C. district court today asking the court to order the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to emergency list the Gunnison sage grouse as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act
Conservation Groups File Lawsuit to List Gunnison Sage Grouse as Endangered
  September 29, 2000 Conservation groups have sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failure to issue a 90-day finding on their petition to list Gunnison sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act
Conservation, Scientific Organizations to List the Gunnison Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act
  January 28, 2000 American Lands and a coalition of conservation and scientific organizations filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered