9 Dec 2007, 1:26pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin

Judge: Study grouse again

BOISE, Idaho — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ignored expert advice when it decided to deny federal protection to the sage grouse, and the agency must reconsider its decision, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

In a decision highly critical of the agency and its decision-making process, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said the service also failed to use the “best science” available when deciding not give the declining species protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Such protection could have dramatic consequences in Wyoming, where state and industry officials fear it would shut off millions of acres to livestock grazing and energy development.

John Emmerich, deputy director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said Wyoming has vast areas of sage grouse habitat and the bird is widely distributed across the state.

“If a species like that gets listed, it’ll have huge ramifications,” he said… [more]

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