The Denver Post reports that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper plans to sue the federal government following the declaration of the Gunnison sage grouse as a threatened species by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. Hickenlooper called the decision discouraging, saying it “complicates our good-faith efforts to work with local stakeholders on locally driven approaches. We will do everything we can, including taking the agency to court, to fight this listing and support impacted local governments, landowners, and other stakeholders.” Sen. Michael Bennet said U.S. Fish & Wildlife “pulled the rug out” from communities already committed to saving grouse. Sen. Mark Udall said official protection “threatens to unravel much of the grassroots and science-based progress Colorado has made preserving the Gunnison sage grouse.” Less than 5,000 Gunnison grouse survive on a miniscule portion of their original habitat in Colorado and Utah.
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