NV Doesn’t Ban Sage Grouse Hunting…

August 15, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More

(Photo: USFWS)

…this year, anyway. Last weekend the Nevada Wildlife Commission discussed banning this year’s sage grouse season in an effort to prevent the bird as being listed as endangered, but decided to allow the hunt to happen. Here’s some background from the Reno Gazette newspaper:

> Commissioner Henry Vogler said he intends to press for the closure of the hunting season during the panel’s meeting [last weekend] in Fallon. The rancher said if the federal government grants the bird protection under the Endangered Species Act, it could result in dramatic restrictions on livestock grazing and mining, among other things.

> “We have to do something that shows we are on top of our game,” Vogler said. “The sage hen is going to be our spotted owl.”

> State biologists say wildfires and development pose greater threats to sage grouse than hunting, which is not allowed in prime habitat areas. “Hunting as a factor is pretty low on the totem pole,” said Shawn Espinosa, upland game specialist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “Whether or not we’re hunting the bird is not going to make much of a difference in whether U.S. Fish and Wildlife decides to list this species.”

> Espinosa said Nevada is already taking steps to protect the bird, including limiting maximum hunting harvest to no more than 10 percent of the bird’s peak fall population.

> He said doing away with the hunting season would also do away with a valuable tool [wings] for collecting information on sage grouse.

> Washington state ended hunting for sage grouse 20 years ago, but that has not resulted in the bird’s population growing there, Espinosa said.

> Last year, 8,944 grouse were bagged by Nevada hunters. Between 3,000 and 5,000 were taken in each of the previous four years.

> The population of the chicken-sized bird has declined for decades, and it now occupies only about half of its original year-round habitat [nationally]….

> In March 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said listing the greater sage grouse as endangered is “warranted but precluded” across its range of 11 western states. That means federal scientists believe listing would be justified, but other endangered species have a higher priority.

> This year’s [NV] season for sage grouse is scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 9.

Category: Feds, Sage Grouse

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  1. Drew says:

    Hunters are typically much more cognicent of natural resource limits. The ultimate problems are land development, invasive species, and energy projects. We must realize how to live within our means as an organism. Sadly, I don’t believe self-awareness is shared by much of humanity. Thus, I see the GRSG as another eventual casualty of our innate need to use the world’s resources for our reproductive success.

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