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Fish and Wildlife service recommends not listing sage grouse as endangered, Congressman Walden's office 12/3/04

Hello Everyone,

Congressman Walden wanted you to know that today senior regional U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists recommended that the USFWS not LIST the greater sage-grouse as a threatened or endangered specie under the Endangered Species Act.  This decision was peer-reviewed internally by the USFWS and also underwent external peer review by scientists from other federal and state agencies. 

Speaking about this decision, Steve Williams, Director of the USFWS, stated that, "The best solution for conserving the greater sage-grouse is for federal agencies and western states to continue to support cooperative efforts to conserve and restore sage-grouse habitat." 

According to the USFWS, "greater sage-grouse are currently estimated to number from 142,000 to 500,000.  Sage-grouse populations declined an average of 3.5 percent per year from 1965 to1985.  However, since 1986 populations in several states have increased or generally stabilized and the rate of decline from 1986 to 2003 slowed to 0.37 percent annually for the species across its entire range.  Greater sage-grouse are currently found in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming." 

This recommendation is currently being finalized before being made available to Director Williams for his final decision, which is expected before December 29.

In March, Congressman Walden joined House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo and several other Western Caucus members in a written request to the House Appropriations Committee and former Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman urging that funds be allocated to conduct sage grouse conservation projects on private and public lands.  Congressman Walden was very pleased that the 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which passed through Congress last month, included $5 million through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program for sage grouse conservation projects.

For more information on the greater sage-grouse, please visit the official USFWS website at http://www.fws.gov/ or read the USFWS press release regarding this current recommendation.

If you have a question or comment, please give me a call or send me an email. 

Thank you and have a great day!  


P.S. I encourage you to take a moment to visit Greg's website at http://walden.house.gov where you can send him an email, read about current legislative issues, fill out an online survey and also sign up for his weekly e-newsletter, the Oregon Congressional Connection.


Colby Marshall

Congressman Greg Walden





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