Re "Endangered bird: Save the Gunnison sage grouse" (Our View, Jan. 22):
The proposed federal listing of the Gunnison sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act would devalue state and local efforts to conserve the species while simultaneously undermining Utah's energy goals.
For more than 20 years, both Colorado's Parks and Wildlife division and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have invested extensive time and resources to work with private landowners, county governments and industry to conserve and improve sage grouse habitat. Now, a federal listing has left all groups disappointed and concerned.
Placing the Gunnison sage grouse on the endangered species list will not only undermine private and state efforts to protect the bird, but will all but halt energy development in the proposed region a devastating, job-crushing, unintended consequence. But Utah does not have to choose between wildlife and energy.
By working with state agencies, Utah's energy producers conventional and renewable can continue to provide collaborative protection of the sage grouse while supporting Utah's robust energy industry and the thousands of jobs it provides.
Barry Russell President, Independent Petroleum Association of America