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  1. #1
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    Sage Grouse ESA Listing

    FYI

    "1.7 million acres of land including private holdings are under consideration to be listed as critical habitat for the birds."

    "The listing is part of a lawsuit settlement agreement the Obama administration struck with environmental groups."

    "Dan Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research in Washington, D.C., said the federal government is hiding behind the secret agreement it made with environmentalists to create new approaches to seizing control of private land."

    Republicans Challenge Endangered Sage Grouse Listing Efforts | The Colorado Observer

  2. #2
    The 5th knuckle
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    great..... you should see what the enviros do for drilling operations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  3. #3
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    Ah, guberment brilliance.

    Government = "If there's Sage Grouse on your land we're going to have to take control so we can ensure this magnificent species is protected."

    Rancher = "Wha's that? Just a moment. Click.. boom.. boom.. boom... Oh? Sage Grouse you say? Nope, none here."

  4. #4
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    Ahh.. the 3 S's.
    Shoot, Shovel and Shut-up.

    If you want to hunt grouse I would suggest these locations.


  5. #5
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    The articles doesn't specify, but I believe that it is only the Gunnison sage-grouse, and not the greater sage-grouse, that is currently being considered for ESA protection. It's range is much smaller that that of the greater sage-grouse (shown on your map) and I don't think it should affect the front range much. I don't doubt that it will have big effects on the energy industry, though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by maaakaaa View Post
    The articles doesn't specify, but I believe that it is only the Gunnison sage-grouse, and not the greater sage-grouse, that is currently being considered for ESA protection. It's range is much smaller that that of the greater sage-grouse (shown on your map) and I don't think it should affect the front range much. I don't doubt that it will have big effects on the energy industry, though.
    They are doing both.
    Greater Sage Grouse.
    Endangered Species of the Mountain-Prairie Region: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


    "After a thorough analysis of the best available scientific information, the Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that the greater sage-grouse warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act. However, the Service has determined that proposing the species for protection is precluded by the need to take action on other species facing more immediate and severe extinction threats.

    As a result, the greater sage-grouse will be placed on the list of species that are candidates for Endangered Species Act Protection. The Service will review the status of the species annually, as it does with all candidate species, and will propose the species for protection when funding and workload priorities for other listing actions allow."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post


    "After a thorough analysis of the best available scientific information, the Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that the greater sage-grouse warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act. However, the Service has determined that proposing the species for protection is precluded by the need to take action on other species facing more immediate and severe extinction threats.

    As a result, the greater sage-grouse will be placed on the list of species that are candidates for Endangered Species Act Protection. The Service will review the status of the species annually, as it does with all candidate species, and will propose the species for protection when funding and workload priorities for other listing actions allow."
    Ok. I did see that about greater sage-grouse, but wasn't sure what to make of it as far as management goes since it's on the wait list. I do know that there are a lot of sage-grouse studies going on all over the western U.S.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by maaakaaa View Post
    Ok. I did see that about greater sage-grouse, but wasn't sure what to make of it as far as management goes since it's on the wait list. I do know that there are a lot of sage-grouse studies going on all over the western U.S.
    I think you're correct about the lack of info in the article and the Gunnison Grouse being the correct bird. That makes more sense.

    It's pretty confusing though. Thanks for the heads up. I'll dig around and see what else I can find to clarify.


    Edit:
    This might help
    Sage Grouse ESA Listing Questioned - MUIRNet-News - for the Recreation Advocate

    The letter to Salazar
    http://naturalresources.house.gov/up...zardirashe.pdf

    Looks like it is the Greater Sage Grouse after all...
    It sounds like Salazar threatened to place the Greater Sage Grouse on the ESL unless private landowners entered into conservation agreements to restrict certain uses of their land during certain times of the year.
    Last edited by UncleTrail; 03-28-2013 at 06:29 AM.

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    These new ESA listings are popping up everywhere right now. They tried to list a lizard in eastern NM and west TX but the oil and gas guys basically called their bluff. The area it exists in is also known as the Permian Basin, one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the country. Now they're pushing for the lesser prairie chicken in the same area. It's a land grab by the gubment, plain and simple. I think we'll see more and more of this. It could also just be that the publicists are trying to bring it more to the forefront of our attention.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottap2003 View Post
    It's a land grab by the gubment, plain and simple.
    Or it is the government doing its job and managing public resources. Indigenous critters are part of our national heritage. Have you ever seen sage grouse displaying on a lek? These critters represent nearly 240 million years of evolution; some reverence is due.



    Greater Sage Grouse pictures and videos.

    “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, 'What good is it?' If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.”
    ― Aldo Leopold, Round River: From the Journals of Aldo Leopold

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Or it is the government doing its job and managing public resources.

    Grouse are not a public resource when they live on private property, they are a natural resource.

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    You're wrong.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottap2003 View Post
    These new ESA listings are popping up everywhere right now. They tried to list a lizard in eastern NM and west TX but the oil and gas guys basically called their bluff. The area it exists in is also known as the Permian Basin, one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the country. Now they're pushing for the lesser prairie chicken in the same area. It's a land grab by the gubment, plain and simple. I think we'll see more and more of this. It could also just be that the publicists are trying to bring it more to the forefront of our attention.
    Green is the new Red.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Have you ever seen sage grouse displaying on a lek?
    I have. It is really cool and they are a very impressive bird. A couple of years ago, I worked on a study of greater sage-grouse in SW Wyoming. In that case, local groups were working to better understand their drastic decline before the federal government needed to step in with the ESA, which would have to have a huge affect on the local economy. From what I understand, some of the major affects on the grouse from energy development are: 1) The grouse don't like to nest near tall structures since they can provide perches for predators (based on what I've read, this likely include wind turbines), and 2) Human activity provides heat and food that attract ravens (major nest predators) to the area and keep the ravens there year-round.

    UncleTrail, I also disagree with your statement that grouse (or other species, for that matter) cease to be public resources when they are on private property. It may be mostly semantics, but while they cannot be enjoyed/hunted/etc. by the public while they are on private property, wildlife are independent of the land where they live or travel. It would be impossible to reasonably manage for a species if regulations changed every time they crossed property boundaries. Also, at least where I worked in WY, much of the oil extraction and ranching was done on public BLM land.

    Tying back into the forum topic, does anyone know of any specific trails that would be affected by listing sage-grouse? It doesn't seem like mountain biking would really affect them that much. Of course the EPA can bit a bit heavy-handed.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by maaakaaa View Post
    It may be mostly semantics, but while they cannot be enjoyed/hunted/etc. by the public while they are on private property, wildlife are independent of the land where they live or travel.
    I'm sorry but I have to disagree. It's not semantics, it's a legal definition and it's the basis for private property rights. Were it not for the right to private property ownership and the natural resources that exist upon/underneath that property, then we may as well be living in a Communist country where the government owns all of the natural resources. i.e. mineral rights/water/timber/wildlife/etc...

    The sage grouse has been in decline for over 90 years. I do not believe you can tie oil exploration and oil rigs to their 90 year decline when oil rigs have not been in their habitat during that time period to an extent that would cause such a decline.

    Also, note:
    "In Colorado, sage grouse were displaced by oil development and coal-mining
    activities, but numbers returned to pre-disturbance levels once the activities ceased (Braun 1987, Remington and Braun 1991).
    http://sagemap.wr.usgs.gov/Docs/Sage...Guidelines.PDF

    A more realistic hypothesis is that, as human have settled and created communities, predators such as coyotes, pet dogs and cats, have increased as well.

    Additionally changes in the range flore, such as Sagebrush removal and establishment of improved pastures, has had an affect.

    Those are my own personal experience with restoring quail on our ranch.
    #1 Lot's more coyotes than there used to be.
    #2 People drop unwanted pets off in the country side, who then turn feral, and kill for fun.
    #3 Ground birds will nest adjacent to improved pastures with good food sources, which places their nest/eggs near areas where pesticides are used, as well as traffic from farm trucks/tractors/etc... places them in harms way.

    How does this affect trails?
    This will affect trails by increasing the costs for trail building as studies will be required to show whether or not the grouse live in a certain location. We have years of experience with that down here and the Prebles Meadow Jumping Mouse.
    I would think for areas around Ft Collins this might be a concern. Hence the FYI.

    I would like to see the sage rouse populations rebound also. I think most private property owners would agree. Hunting is how many land owners make a living and it's not in their best interest to harm the wildlife. Yeah, there are exceptions, but a majority of land owners would agree that conservation of natural resources, that they own, is in their best interest.

    If it were the other way around (government "owns" all natural resources) then why own land in the first place?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    I'm sorry but I have to disagree. It's not semantics, it's a legal definition and it's the basis for private property rights. Were it not for the right to private property ownership and the natural resources that exist upon/underneath that property, then we may as well be living in a Communist country where the government owns all of the natural resources. i.e. mineral rights/water/timber/wildlife/etc...
    I hate to jump in, but I feel compelled to address what appears to be a misstatement. In most states, such as Colorado, the state owns all wildlife. CRS 33-1-101(2) ("All wildlife within this state not lawfully acquired and held by private ownership is declared to be the property of this state."). The states are empowered under their general police powers to regulate wildlife whether on state or private lands. This is how our federal system works in this context. Whether federal government, under the Endangered Species Act, has the authority to regulate wildlife, well that's another matter.

    I should add that the state owning wildlife is not the only example of this general concept. In most states, like Colorado, the state also owns the water and regulates its use.

    To (hopefully) clarify, in general, under the law, what we commonly refer to as "ownership" is really a set of rights with respect to property. The U.S. Supreme Court has referred to this as a "bundle of sticks." So, to in a round-about way to address Uncle Trail's last statement, if you "own" land you have various rights to the land, such as the right to be on it and the right to keep other people off of it. However, your rights to the land you own do not extend to the right to do whatever you want with wildlife that crosses your land. There are a million other examples as well in which your rights to do what you want to land you own are circumscribed in one way or another.
    Last edited by Pabs; 04-02-2013 at 08:15 AM.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

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    Exactly. The State holds resources in trust for the People.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pabs View Post
    CRS 33-1-101(2) ("All wildlife within this state not lawfully acquired and held by private ownership is declared to be the property of this state.").

    Thanks for the clarification and perhaps I didn't word that correctly.

    Rogbie defined wildlife as a "public resource". The point I was making is that there is no legal definition for what that is.

    "If the term “public resource” is used/added by a Legislature, it will have little meaning, since no precedent exists to determine what that phrase means." A "public resource" is defined nowhere other than PR literature handed out by special interest groups. That's why I say wildlife is a natural resource which has a legal definition: natural resource.

    But it sounds good, why argue with it? Because hunting rights are the private property owners to sell, not the states, and many property owners choose not to allow hunting, even in areas where it is allowed.

    As per CRS 33-6-116. Hunting, trapping, or fishing on private property--posting public lands
    (1) It is unlawful for any person to enter upon privately owned land or lands under the control of the state board of land commissioners to hunt or take any wildlife by hunting, trapping, or fishing without first obtaining permission from the owner or person in possession of such land.

    Hunting rights can be transferred within Conservation Easements also. So hunting rights on private property are not the publics to sell, they are owned by the property owner.

    That's a good thing isn't it? Yes, because not everyone allows hunting on their property. Most lanowners value wildlife and many enhance habitat to create better conditions for survival. Private property can be refuges for wildlife and actually increase widllife populations. All good for wildlife conservation.


    And you are correct about water, in Colorado,(I always forget) however it is not that way in most states. There are 2 types of water rights.

    Eastern states have riparian water rights (owned by property owner) and western, arid states have .. I can't remember what it's called... with water shares being transferred or sold with the property, or sold without the property and transferred through water ways to others who have purchased those shares. I was thinking shares of water... which the property owner can sell.

    Water as a public resource vs commodity? is debatable as well.
    http://www.h2opolicycenter.org/resea..._Commodity.pdf

    "public resource" sounds good, but it's just a meaningless phrase. It has no legal definition. That's the point I was trying to make.

  19. #19
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    But you're using a term defined by a special interest group with an agenda. I know where you got it.

    I read their literature. They want private land owners to hand over all control of private lands to the government so that they can regulate private property.

    That's called Communism. These groups are using wildlife and your emotions to gain that control over you.

    So let's give them control. Then what? Will they remove the land owners also? Isn't that the real agenda of these groups? Population control. Control over the movement of people and goods. History shows us where this leads. Do you really want to go there? I don't.

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    You're on so many tangents you don't know from which point you started. You made no point of reference to me misstating public and natural resources. What I meant, and implied, is that natural resources, such as wildlife, are owned by the public with the State (feds, state, or local) holding those resources in trust.

    Where are you getting these ideas about communism, land grabs, and population control and how are you relating that to the listing of an animal to the Endangered Species List? Going further, how does this relate in any way to mountain bikes?

    Hunting licenses are granted by the state, even if one is hunting on private property. CRS 33-6-116 simply says, that permission is needed to hunt, or fish, on private property and failure to obtain permission first is a crime. The license to hunt, or fish, is only granted by the state, not by private property owners.

    I was using a common term in a casual conversation. Public resource, while less specific than natural resource, still conveys the idea of commonly held property; such as, air. Air is a natural resource that is collectively "owned" by the public--people. Once again, you're making assumptions and false conclusions to devalue my arguments or bait me into some digressing discussion about politics.

  21. #21
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    " that would be an EPA that would aspire to regulate in detail virtually every aspect of our lives, thus completely destroying our freedom and prosperity.

"

    EPA's Plans for Implementing UN's Agenda 21

    At what point will we not be impacting the environment in their eyes? When will we not be allowed to enjoy/recreate in our National Forest and open spaces due to our impact on 'X'? Agenda 21 is real and you should educate your self into its matters.

  22. #22
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    Yep, I wanna kill, shoot, and destroy anything that I want, whenever I want. I don't need no regulation. Anyone who tells me that I can't exterminate some stupid lizard is a fascist socialist pinko. I'd shoot the last Dodo if it got in the way of my ride. Them enviro freaks should move to Mars or France and leave freedom-loving patriots the hell alone before I ride my knobby tires all over their smug little faces like I'd ride over grouse before eating it with my bare hands and then i'm gonna shoot up whatever else i dont like cause in america freedom is still free you tree hugging limp wristed commie-loving obama freak who dont repect a drillers right to drillbabaydrill like youcanttouchmewithyoeruerf oeirjfow erfoweirhfwerfjwe rioo

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    Yep, I wanna kill, shoot, and destroy anything that I want, whenever I want.
    If you knew of an invasive species that killed 1.4 - 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 - 20.7 billion mammals... every year... just in the US... and has caused over 30 species of animals to go extinct.... would you do something about it?

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    Feral cats? Exterminate them, along with those feral ponies and asses (part of the reason sage-grouse are losing habitat). Though, the same could be said for the driver of the largest mass extinction in the history of the Earth.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Feral cats? Exterminate them, along with those feral ponies and asses (part of the reason sage-grouse are losing habitat).
    Agreed. Feral cats are a reason not to ban high capicity magazines. As are wild pigs.

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