All for naught?
Author: The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Editorial Board - September 29, 2017 - Updated: September 29, 2017
The New York Times reported Thursday that the Interior Department intends to consider amending “all or some” sage-grouse habitat management programs in 10 western states, which could upend a decade of collaboration and compromise to keep the bird off the endangered species list.
This wasn’t unexpected. The Sentinel’s Dennis Webb reported last week on John Swartout’s ongoing efforts to help stakeholders arrive at a statewide consensus on whether Colorado’s plan should change. The plan, approved by the Obama administration in 2015, prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide not list the bird under the Endangered Species Act.
Swartout, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s appointed point person on sage-grouse issues, initiated a series of meetings with local governments, energy industry representatives and environmental interests because state officials anticipated federal action, either by Interior or Congress, to loosen protections on habitat.