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Friday, April 14, 2006

What are the Feds thinking?!?

Just saw the news that the USFWS has denied the petition to list the Gunnison Sage Grouse as an endangered species. With less than 5,000 of the birds left on a tiny portion of western Colorado and eastern Utah, this bird is one of the most endangered birds in North America (see the Audubon report here). The agency claims that the birds aren't endangered because their numbers may have increased in the last two years. Hello! California Condor numbers have increased too. So have Whooping Crane numbers. But when you have birds with a very limited range, and only a small population--that's the definition of endangered! Hopefully state regulations and efforts will be able to protect these birds, but its just another example of how the Endangered Species Act is not effective because the agency that is supposed to administer it is, for whatever reason, failing to actually use it to protect many species that need the most protection. Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the world of conservation politics. What a load of crock!

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