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The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on its recently updated Gunnison sage-grouse resource management plan. (via Larry Ramtha/USFWS)
The Bureau of Land Management’s preferences for protecting Gunnison sage-grouse habitat are inadequate, environmental groups argue. Meanwhile, the Montrose County Natural Resources Director said the agency needs better support for success and continued collaborative efforts.
Gunnison sage-grouse inhabit a small section of Montrose County in a satellite population called the Cerro Summit-Cimarron-Sims Mesa Group. The bird is also found in several other counties in Colorado, with its largest population in the Gunnison Basin, and in southeastern Utah, and is listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. Ongoing human development and habitat fragmentation are thought to be important factors in population decline.
As part of its efforts to protect this bird, the BLM recently completed draft resource management plan amendments to incorporate habitat protection and management decisions identified in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2020 Final Recovery Plan and environmental has released an updated statement regarding its impact on the The plan maintains the birds in occupied habitat (areas where Gunnison sage-grouse breeding occurs or is known to have occurred) and unoccupied habitat (areas previously occupied by the species). Areas that still have suitable habitat characteristics for
BLM’s previous draft plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Gunnison sage-grouse were released in 2016, but were put on hold and ultimately canceled when USFWS announced its next recovery plan .
For more information, visit the Montrose Daily Press.
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