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Monday, November 06, 2006

All Hands! Rare birds need help this week!

Habitat for two of the rarest birds in North America, Gunnison Sage Grouse and Lesser Prairie Chicken, is under threat. Here is notice from Audubon Colorado conservation chair SeEtta Moss:

Last week Audubon Colorado, a few Audubon Chapters and individuals filed formal "protests" on the scheduled oil & gas drilling lease sale for parcels that have Gunnison Sage-Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken leks and habitat. So far these parcels have not been withdrawn from lease sale eligibility on November 9.

Please take 20 minutes to send a fax/letter/email to the person in charge of this gas & oil lease sale, Sally Wisely who is the state director of the Bureau of Land Management (tho some parcels are on Forest Service land, the BLM does the oil & gas leasing for all federal and some private lands). We need to let Ms. Wisely know that there are many Coloradoans who are concerned about our Gunnison Sage Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken populations.

It is best to send a fax, but if not convenient then send either a letter or an email to the addresses below. Be sure to put your full name, street address and city on your comments and sign those comments you fax or send by letter. If you have ever viewed either Gunnison Sage-Grouse or Lesser Prairie-Chickens, or intent to do so, please note that. If you are a birder, please note that and add info about your traveling to see birds.

I think it is helpful to copy your comments to both Senators Allard and Salazar, but you have to fill in their online webforms as noted below. And please copy your text and send it to me as I will use the summary information (ie, you have received comments from X number of birders, and X number of persons who still want to view X) in the comments I send to her.

Points to make (please rephrase in your own words as they devalue form letters):
--You strongly oppose the lease sale of parcels with Gunnison Sage Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken leks and habitat.
--Keeping these parcels, identified in the protest filed by Audubon Colorado, in the lease sale is jeopardizing the existence of populations of these species.
--That Gunnison Sage Grouse is listed as a Species of Special Concern by the State of Colorado.
--That Lesser Prairie-Chicken is listed as Threatened by the State of Colorado and has been granted Candidate status under the Endangered Species Act.
--Colorado Division of Wildlife is putting a lot of time and effort into protecting existing populations of both Gunnison Sage Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken.
--Gunnison Sage Grouse is a very imperiled species with fewer than 3,500 birds teetering on the brink of extinction.
--Lesser Prairie-Chicken—parcels in this lease sale encompass 6 active leks that account for the majority of the known birds on the Comanche National Grasslands. Lesser Prairie-Chickens have been declining on these public lands since 1989 with only about 38 males counted in 2006.
--Relying on a 1991 Oil & Gas Leasing EIS for Lesser Prairie-Chickens and a 1993 Oil & Gas Leasing EIS for Gunnison Sage Grouse violates NEPA regulations. These old and outdated EIS’s do not include current information of species populations and risks, nor recent research on the impacts of oil & gas drilling on these species.
--The parcels that have leks or habitat for Gunnison Sage Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken must be withdrawn from this and future lease sales

Thank you in advance for helping protect Gunnison Sage-Grouse and Lesser
Prairie-Chicken in Colorado.
SeEtta Moss (email copy of your comments to prairie.grouse@yahoo.com)
----------------------------------

FAX: 303-239-3799
Attn: Sally Wisely, State Director

Letter:
Sally Wisely, State Director
Bureau of Land Management, Colorado State Office
2850 Youngfield Street
Lakewood, Colorado 80215

Email: sally_wisely@co.blm.gov

Senator Allard:
http://allard.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

Senator Salazar:
http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm

1 comment:

Laura Erickson said...

Oh, man, what a great photo of the sage grouse! I always say seeing them displaying reminded me of going to a gay bar on Mae West Impersonators' Night (or at least what I imagine going to a gay bar on Mae West Impersonators' Night would be like)--the birds enter the scene looking like oversized, drab pheasants and then suddenly lurch up, fluff out air sacs to reveal this huge white feather boa and these two round, bare sacs exactly where Mae West would have wanted two huge round air sacs, fan out their tails, and strut their stuff. These males are all focused on other males--"See, I'M the most gorgeous" "No, I'M the most gorgeous!" They make a cool liquid sound, but you just KNOW if they had boom boxes they'd be playing Barbra Streisand, while the females, who serve as judges, are pretty much ignored. It was one of the most thrilling, beautiful, and wonderful displays of testosterone in action I've ever seen, and it so grieves me that people don't realize what a wondrous treasure these sage grass birds are.

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