Broads Joins Lawsuit Over Gunnison Sage Grouse Listing
On November 20, 2014, Broads joined with Wild Earth Guardians, Wild Utah Project, and sage grouse biologist Clait Braun to notify the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of our intent to sue for “failure to follow best available science” in its listing of the Gunnison sage grouse as threatened. This listing denies the full protection of an endangered status.
Under the Endangered Species Act, a species is “endangered” if it is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” The listing of the Gunnison sage grouse as threatened does not sufficiently protect the species to allow for recovery.
The Gunnison sage grouse has lost 93% of its habitat
Population numbers are crashing in six of the seven areas where it remains. Habitat for this magnificent bird, known for its elaborate courtship dance, is threatened by:
• Residential development
• Oil and gas development
• Livestock grazing
• Habitat fragmentation
The Gunnison sage grouse was once common in the Four Corners region. Now it is found only in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. Its population in 2014 numbered less than 5,000.
The Damaging Effects of Oil & Gas Development
During breeding season, male sage grouse gather and compete for mates, returning each year to the same specific location, called a lek. Noise from oil and gas development or construction, even from relatively long distances, can disturb leks, reducing mating productivity, and in some cases, causing complete abandonment of the site and local loss of the species.
Broads recognizes that some landowners have worked closely with state agencies to improve habitat for the Gunnison sage grouse. However, these efforts are not enough to allow the bird’s recovery.
The best available science shows that a listing of endangered is warranted and would provide the best possible chance to prevent the extinction of this iconic species of the sagebrush plains.
By protecting the Gunnison sage grouse, we can restore the sagebrush ecosystem, benefitting many other species of wildlife.
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Five Charged in Recapture Canyon ATV Ride – Broads supports the BLM’s Lawful Public Process and the Closure of Recapture Canyon to Motorized Access
Federal authorities filed charges against five men for their alleged part in an ATV protest ride in Recapture Canyon in May. San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, Monte Wells, Shane Marian, Franklin Holliday, and Jay Redd were charged with “operation of off-road vehicles on public lands closed to vehicles” and conspiracy. Read the story in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Great Old Broads for Wilderness (Broads) deeply regrets the actions of the ATV riders who illegally drove into Recapture Canyon in May and expresses full support for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in enforcing the canyon’s closure from motorized use. “Some places deserve to be protected from impacts of motorized vehicles,” said Shelley Silbert, Broads Executive Director. “We would not allow an ATV to drive in our yards, through our churches, or on our sidewalks. Likewise, this beautiful canyon rich with cultural treasures and sacred to numerous tribal peoples can be enjoyed without damage from motor vehicles.” To read entire press release, click here.
Wilderness 50 Events and Activities
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act! The celebration of this golden anniversary is in full swing with more than 400 + events, exhibits and activities highlighting the diverse way Americans value the importance of wilderness, our wild and open spaces. Whether on vacation, taking a cross-country roadtrip, or attending your annual family reunion, it is very likely you can find an event wherever you are and make it part of your summer fun. Check out the new Broadband calendar for Broadband-led events and activities. For complete event listing, visit Wilderness 50th.
National Parks Free Admission Days remaining in 2014: September 27 – National Public Lands Day; November 11 – Veterans Day. View this beautiful National Park Service video that explains the Wilderness Act.
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“Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow…the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible.” — Aldo Leopold (American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, considered to be father of American wildlife management) Wild Reads for All Ages In commemoration of President Lyndon Johnson signing into law the Wilderness Act and…
Wild for Wilderness On-Line Auction – auction.greatoldbroads.org Our annual Wild for Wilderness On-Line Auction goes live on November 3, 2014, for a little more than two weeks just in time for holiday shopping and vacation planning for next year. The auction boasts outdoor adventures, gear, vacation stays, clothing, food, books, music, art, jewelry and much, much more. Browse the…