Wyoming’s wild sage grouse are in jeopardy

Submitted by Rand Christensen
Posted 3/10/20

Dear Editor:

The attempt to commercialize the wild sage grouse this spring and the selling off of hundreds of thousands of acres of our public lands to the oil industry is just the beginning of …

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Wyoming’s wild sage grouse are in jeopardy


Dear Editor:

The attempt to commercialize the wild sage grouse this spring and the selling off of hundreds of thousands of acres of our public lands to the oil industry is just the beginning of one of the worst environmental disasters that the federal and state governments have ever approved. They have put the oil industry and certain private interests above the interests of the people and the wildlife.

Robbing the wild sage grouse nests is not a very good idea. It is going to disturb the natural setting of their nesting and brood time. Whatever method they use to collect the eggs, they are going to disturb many nests even if they are not the ones targeted. Who is to say the birds once disturbed will return to their nests and stay, or whether the nests will become cold before the birds do return, if they return? The wild population will not only lose all the eggs that have been robbed, the potential for collateral damage is great. Just how many eggs will be lost?

This project will not benefit the wild sage grouse as they are not going to release any of the reared birds back into the wild. They rob nests of an already declining population with no plans to help increase the wild population. This project is designed to benefit the private bird farms and the oil industry, at the expense of the wild population. The oil industry and many others, including the State of Wyoming, are not doing this for the benefit of the grouse, it is so the bird doesn’t get on the endangered species list. Listing the grouse would hamper the oil industry and the government doesn’t want this to happen.

I believe all they are doing is hoping that the grouse will survive in captivity so certain special interest groups can profit and at the same time they can show a higher number of grouse in the state, domestic or wild, so they won’t be listed. The domestic grouse should never be counted in with the wild grouse; I believe this would be deceitful, because the ones that should be counted are the wild sage grouse as they are the ones directly impacted by the oil industry, not the ones living in chicken coops.

They are not even trying to build up the wild population. I believe this is very unfair to the wild birds and is unfair to the public. You would think the Game and Fish’s job would be to try and save the wild sage grouse instead of working to destroy them. Whether this works or not, there has to be accountability for the damage done to the wild population. Someone has to take responsibility for this, whether it is Karl Bear, Dennis Brabec, Deimer True, The Diamond Greater Sage Grouse Foundation, Mike Choma, the Game and Fish commissioners, the biologists, the governor or the state Legislature.

A lot of people drive into our beautiful countryside to watch the wildlife. Watching the wild sage grouse is a favorite recreation, especially when they are doing their strut — a natural ritual that will never be duplicated in captivity.

The people don’t want to go out and look at a stinking oil well. When the oil well stops producing, the oil company will pull out and leave all the damage behind. This is just one reason they call it oil field trash. Once the habitat and wildlife is gone, it is gone forever. I believe the wild sage grouse should be protected from the oil industry, our own government, from opportunists, such as the private bird farms, and from any other organizations that want to profit off of the wild sage grouse.

Wyoming’s wild sage grouse have been given a slow death sentence at the hands of man. The government should protect the habitat instead of destroy it. Burning and poisoning are not protecting, also the Game and Fish should stop selling our wildlife to the special interest groups just to become another carnie shoot.

Rand Christensen