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May 27, 2014

Farm Bureau Supports State-Focused Sage Grouse Legislation

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

Last week, members of Congress introduced legislation that would deal with one piece of the puzzle regarding the broad scope of the Endangered Species Act. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbySenator Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Representative Cory Gardner of Colorado led the way on introducing the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act. American Farm Bureau environmental policy specialist Ryan Yates says the bill would empower local and state conservation efforts across 11 states to protect this bird species.
YatesThis bill would preclude the United States Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the sage grouse as an endangered or threatened species, so long as that state has prepared a conservation management plan.
OtterbyYates says Farm Bureau supports this legislation and is urging its members to contact members of Congress about the issue and urge their support.
YatesMuch of the farm and rangeland across the West currently being managed for grazing is actually beneficial for the species. So being able to work with that state directly provides for the landowner to better understand the needs for the conservation and the increase in species numbers. We’ll see a much more effective conservation plan and ultimately a very effective sage grouse recovery.
OtterbyThere are many areas for concern in the Endangered Species Act, according to Yates, but he says this bill is a great first step.
YatesAFBF is going to be working with Congress and the administration on many other provisions within the act that we feel could be improved to ultimately assist landowners as well as the species.
OtterbyFarm Bureau applauds Senator Enzi and Representative Gardner for their efforts to move the ball forward on this issue. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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