Spring Storm in the Great Basin Red Cliffs Desert Tortoise Reserve March Morning on the Platte River After a Spring Storm in the Great Basin Hunting Upland Birds at Kingsbury Lake Waterfowl Production Area Sandhill Migration on the Platte River Badlands Sunrise The Green River at Ouray NWR North Park Lupines Moab Sunset
News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

Service Announces Public Hearings for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse

For Immediate Release

November 1, 2013


A pair of Gunnerson sage-grouses are pictured. Photo Credit: Gary Kramer, USFWS.

Public comment period reopened until December 2, 2013

DENVER—The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the scheduling of three public information sessions and public hearings on proposals to protect the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to designate 1.7 million acres of critical habitat for the species in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. The Service is reopening until December 2, 2013, the public comment period on these proposals, in order to provide the public an additional opportunity to provide feedback.

About 5,000 breeding Gunnison sage-grouse remain, occupying seven percent of their former range, which once encompassed northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico in addition to Colorado and Utah. As a result of these declines and ongoing threats to survival, the Service on January 11, 2013, proposed ESA protection for the species and proposed the designation of critical habitat essential for the species’ survival and recovery. 

 “Thanks to collaborative conservation efforts, the largest Gunnison sage-grouse population has remained relatively stable over the past 12 years,” said the Service’s Mountain-Prairie Regional Director Noreen Walsh. “These public hearings provide an additional opportunity for us to hear from the public about the proposed listing and critical habitat designation.  We welcome additional information from the public not only at the hearings, but through the comment process open until December 2nd. ”

Critical habitat is a term defined in the ESA and identifies geographic areas containing features essential to the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and that may require special management considerations or protection. The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, and has no impact on private landowners taking actions on their land that do not require federal funding or permits.

Comments or information previously submitted on the proposed rules should not be resubmitted. These comments have been incorporated into the public record, and the Service will fully consider them in the preparation of final determinations.  Public hearings on these proposed rules were previously planned for October 7 and 8, 2013, but had to be rescheduled due to a lapse in Federal government appropriations.

Click here to read the rest of this story. »

A public information session and public hearing in Gunnison, Colorado, is now scheduled for November 19, 2013, at Western State Colorado University, University Center, 600 N. Adams Street.  A public information session and public hearing in Montrose, Colorado, is scheduled for November 20, 2013, at the Holiday Inn Express, 1391 S. Townsend Avenue.  A public information session and public hearing in Monticello, Utah, is now scheduled for November 21, 2013, at Monticello High School Auditorium, 164 South 200 West.  Each of these meetings will include an information session from 4-5 p.m., a break and speaker sign-in, and a public hearing from 6-9 p.m. 

You may submit written comments by one of the following methods:
(1) Electronically:

Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the appropriate Docket No: Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2012-0108 for the proposed endangered status for Gunnison sage-grouse; or Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2011-0111 for the proposed designation of critical habitat for Gunnison sage-grouse. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, check on the Proposed Rules link to locate the proposed rule. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

(2) By hard copy:
For the proposed endangered status for Gunnison sage-grouse, submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS-R6-ES-2012-0108; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203. 
For the proposed designation of critical habitat for Gunnison sage-grouse, submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R6-ES-2011-0111; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.

The Service requests that you send comments only by the methods described above. All comments will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228

303-236-7905

303-236-3815 FAX

www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/



Contacts

Patty Gelatt
970-243-2778, x26
patty_gelatt@fws.gov

Steve Segin
303-236-4578
robert_segin@fws.gov



Enter your e-mail address below


SafeSubscribe Logo
For Email Marketing you can trust
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: October 31, 2013
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
flickr youtube