Report: Sage-grouse recovery to cost millions and take years

Male sage grouse perform their mating ritual on a lake near Walden, Colo., April 20, 2013 | Associated Press file photo by David Zalubowski, St. George News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A federal agency says rebuilding a sage-grouse population found only in Colorado and Utah could take more than 50 years and cost nearly $561 million.

The Daily Sentinel reported Saturday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft recovery plan for the Gunnison sage-grouse, which is listed as a threatened species.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife estimates the bird’s population at more than 3,000, primarily in Colorado’s Gunnison Basin.

Officials say the bird is found only in eight western Colorado counties and one eastern Utah county.

Planned recovery actions include invasive weed treatment and improved livestock grazing practices.

The largest proposed expense is nearly $309 million to acquire conservation easements or purchase private lands.

The plan was developed by federal, state and nongovernment organizations with local input.

___

Information from: The Daily Sentinel, http://www.gjsentinel.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!