WASHINGTON -- Congressional Republicans are working to block federal protection of several species of grouse, arguing that listing the birds as endangered will hurt energy development and agriculture in Western states.
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and four other House Republicans, along with Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso of Wyoming, on Thursday introduced the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act, which would prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the greater sage grouse and Gunnison sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act for 10 years. The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered in January 2013, but hasn't finalized the decision. The agency is also considering whether to add the greater sage grouse, which lives in 11 Western states, to the endangered species list. A decision on that is expected next year.