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Obama Administration Determined Three More Grouse Warranted Listing in 2010
SANTA FE, N.M. – WildEarth Guardians today requested that President Obama "pardon" endangered grouse in the American West by granting them protection under the Endangered Species Act. The request comes on the cusp of the President’s traditional pardon of two Thanksgiving turkeys.
"The compassion that marks the Presidential Pardon of the Thanksgiving turkeys should be extended to the imperiled wild grouse of the West, many of which are suffering greatly from mismanagement of their habitat on public lands," said Mark Salvo, Coordinator for the Western Grouse Project for WildEarth Guardians.
The organization urged President Obama to marry the 46-year tradition of the Presidential Pardon for Thanksgiving turkeys with the 36-year tradition of the Endangered Species Act providing a vital safety net for fish, wildlife and plants threatened with extinction. This year the Obama Administration determined that three more grouse—the greater sage-grouse, Mono Basin sage-grouse, and Gunnison sage-grouse—need protection under the ESA, and would be listed if not for other priorities. These grouse join a fourth grouse, the lesser prairie-chicken, as candidates for listing under the ESA. WildEarth Guardians also advocates listing Columbian sharp-tailed grouse under the act.
“The best available science, as interpreted by this administration, supports protecting endangered grouse,” said Salvo. “Their recovery will depend on listing, as well as new policies to protect and restore their habitat.”
The letter notes that 86 percent of Americans support protecting species under the Endangered Species Act and that protecting western grouse will help conserve natural landscapes that benefit both grouse and human communities.
Five western grouse are imperiled. Four are candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
WildEarth Guardians’ letter to President Obama is available here (PDF).