Greater Sage Grouse Decision Peeves Gunnison County

September 28, 2015
Photo: Gunnison County Commissioner Jonathan Houck (Staff)
Gunnison County Commissioner Jonathan Houck said the community really stood up for the Gunnison sage grouse. But in the end, it wasn't enough.

decision not to list the greater sage grouse as endangered has upset officials in Gunnison County.

That area has a separate species of sage grouse that was listed under the Endangered Species Act last year. 

“92 percent of occupied habitat on private land in the Gunnison basin has some kind of protective measure. When I look at those numbers and those efforts that to me says ‘unprecedented amount of work.’ At a personal level, it just seemed kind of dismissive," said Jonathan Houck, a Gunnison County commissioner.

The federal listing for the Gunnison Sage Grouse came after more than a decade of local conservation work by ranchers, environmentalists and the county. The state of Colorado and Gunnison County have sued the federal government over the listing decision as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

The federal government said the best available science on the bird pointed toward needed protections under the act.

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