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Director's Corner

Dan Ashe served as FWS Director from June 2011 until January 2017. The following is an archive of blogs authored by Director Ashe during that time. This content is intended for historical reference only and not as a representation of current Service policy or opinion.

Getting It Right for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken

This week I was able to sneak out of Washington to Gunnison, Colorado, to tour the Gunnison Sage-Grouse Habitat, lunch with the Gunnison Basin Strategic Committee and meet with the County Coalition for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse, an organization of the 11 counties within the range of Gunnison Sage-Grouse. 

gunison sage-grouse
Gunnison sage-grouse. Credit: © Mike Danzenberger.

I got a chance to see some valuable landscape-level conservation to benefit the Gunnison sage-grouse, a bird we have proposed to list under the Endangered Species Act. About 5,000 breeding gunnisons remain in and around the Gunnison Basin in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. At one time their range included northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. 

Comment on the the proposed endangered status for Gunnison sage-grouse
Comment on the proposed designation of critical habitat for Gunnison sage-grouse

To conserve the species, private landowners, federal, state and local agencies, and other partners have developed conservation agreements and implemented them on public, private and state lands across portions of the species’ range.

Stakeholders have been working hard over the last several months to develop conservation efforts for sage-grouse, and we all have the shared goal of conservation of Gunnison sage-grouse and the healthy sagebrush ecosystem on which they depend.


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