Just got this from Big Game Forever. I realize not all of us support this organization and that some in a particular state may not be happy with them, but I still believe this issue is important to all of us.
We do not need to give the Feds the kind of control that putting the Sage Grouse on the endangered species list would give them. The ESA has turned into bulldozer that takes out anything and any right in it's path and the radical environmentalists, anti-hunters and others with similar thinking know how to wield it and have demonstrated that in the recent past. See below and please contact your congressmen or congresswomen.
Here's a link to a Big Game Forever pre-written letter. Simply include your info in the form at the bottom and your letter will be automatically sent to your congressman or women.
We have 48 hours to weigh in on this important issue facing all sportsmen and we need your help!
We are now hearing that several Democratic Member of Congress, under pressure by radical environmentalists, will attempt to strip provision which will protect state management of 165 Million Acres of Sage-grouse habitat across 11 Western States. This comes following news that Utah Congressman Rob Bishop's has officially requested the inclusion of these provisions on the National Defense Authorization Act (the "NDAA"). His amendment means that state conservation programs for Greater Sage-grouse, mule deer and Western landscapes can continue to be implemented until 2025.
Here’s why you should care. The Washington Post is describing last week's developments as "the most important thing happening in Washington [D.C.]". The article also explains the likely cost of a Sage-grouse ESA listing:
"How costly? Compare it to the decision to include the Northern spotted owl on the endangered species list in 1990. That decision impacted 24 million acres of land across Washington, Oregon and California. Timber counties are still struggling to recover. The sage grouse lives on 165 million acres, covering land used by mining, energy, oil and gas and developers."
Yesterday, the news organization RollCall.com published an Op-edoutlining why Congress needs to act to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FSW) from “imposing onerous restrictions on the Western United States.” The article goes on to state, “if [FWS] is able to implement its restrictive regulatory regime and the greater sage grouse is added to the endangered species list, it will have a significant and negative effect on the military and Western states’ economies without real conservation benefit to the bird.”
This is also a critical issue for America's hunters. Why? Literally hundreds of millions of dollars are being put on the ground by state conservation programs and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. These programs benefit not only Sage-grouse but also other species including mule deer, elk and other upland game species. Amazing progress is being made. The problem is that federal mandates threaten to remove the incentives for investment in these common-sense, on-the-ground conservation efforts.
BigGame Forever will continue to provide information to help keep you informed, but we need your help to support members of Congress who are working to protect our outdoor heritage, our way of life and communities who will have to deal with the consequences of these decisions. Getting this issue right is critical for sportsmen, ranchers, and Western economies.