Sage Grouse & Grizzly Tensions
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Farmers, ranchers and even the military are concerned about losing property rights due to federal efforts to protect sage grouse. Dan Newhouse, farmer and U.S. Congressman representing Washington's 4th District, voices his own concerns at a national listing for sage grouse.
NEWHOUSE: I do think that before any decision moves forward at the national level that we should follow through on the commitment that we made and allow the states to demonstrate whether or not their management plans are effective. They have not had enough time in my opinion to do that, and so to me it is part of our commitment that we allow that to happen.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Cattlemen's Association is currently negotiating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to finalize a Washington state Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for cattle producers and landowners to take measures to protect sage grouse on their property. Upon finalization the agreement will be made available for public comment.
In February the the National Park Service, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the official start of a public process to plan for the restoration of a grizzly bear population in Washington's North Cascades Ecosystem. During a recent hearing of the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee tensions surfaced over fear that federal agencies would be usurping state laws to do this; referring to the state law passed in 1995, which states that grizzly bears will not be transplanted or introduced into the state. North Cascades National Park Superintendent Karen Taylor-Goodrich told Committee members that federal agencies do not intend to so at this time.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.