Gov. Gary Herbert: Threat of sage grouse endangered species listing is real, could cost Utah billions


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  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    Bird man,
    In Montana, please go and tell your neighbors, the ranchers and farmers, all the information you have shared here. Have them read the book you suggest, then tell them they must not farm and ranch their own land.

    World wide, among the human populations, there are diseases, abortion and mass genocide. Free birth control is offered to women in third world countries where life saving medication is not available. There is starvation and death among the children of this planet, millions die every year before they reach adulthood, millions more die before they are even born. In Africa in the 1980's the average woman had 9 children, that number had dropped to 5 children by 2000. Most of China is only allowed 1 child and parents make sure that child is male. This has created a low number of females, creating a very low birth rate. In Europe 1 in every 6 adults do not even marry or have children. A trend that has grown from 1 in 10 in the 1980's, this has been spilling over into the US where many young adults choose not to have children. Most families in Europe have only 1 child, most in the US have 2.5.

  • Bird man Laurel, MT
    Feb. 20, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    county mom:People have a right to their own opinion.But wouldn't it be better for all, if that meant a informed opinion?A opinion based on facts, knowledge, and one that is not biased. Supreme court justices cannot make ,and vote on ,a issue where they have personal financial interests in that case.It is simply called a conflict of interest.Why do we not treat other issues the same way?You also have the right to do what you want on your own land.But within reason, and according to laws.What if what you do on your land, hurts your neighbor, or kills protected public wildlife or species?You mention the government should not tell you what to do on your land.Then why do ranchers then tell us, the public, what to do on public land, when it comes to public grazing leases. Hypocrisy?

  • Bird man Laurel, MT
    Feb. 19, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    County mom: You have a right to your Opinion , And in this country to do what you want on your land . Even if that means collectively killing indirectly through loss of habitat many protected species of wildlife that are the publics domain. It does not mean that your opinion is not biased by your money interest . The hypocritical part is ranchers who graze cattle on millions of public acres also want to tell us the public what to do on public land .

  • Bird man Laurel, MT
    Feb. 19, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    Read the recent book, the sixth extinction.Now if you care, its humans causing this new mass impact, and future extinctions of animals and species. Our sheer numbers of people, 7 billion, require incredible resources,to just sustain, and have lasting impacts on nature, and are not sustainable.Many are being used up, and degraded, far quicker then they are being replenished.The scapegoat is to blame it on predators, or hunters, that way we do not have to change our practices or impacts.There have always been predators, when Lewis and Clark first explored the Great Plains there were many predators, but also there were millions of buffalo, and grouse, and other wildlife.Admitting that it is us, that is the real problem, is just to disconcerting for us to handle, it would mean we are doing something wrong.And would mean changing how we look at the world, it should not all be about us , people,because what we are doing to wildlife and the planet, all species, we are also doing to ourselves, but we just haven't realized it yet.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    Birdman, farmers and ranchers have every right to have say in this particular issue.
    It is THEIR land. Keep your land for the birds. Stay off of others private property, your oppinion pertaining to their land is irrelevant..
    This is still a free country and people still have more rights then birds.

  • Bird man Laurel, MT
    Feb. 19, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    Its amazing, people are so biased , and its always something, or somebody else's fault. It can never be our fault that we could be causing a problem, or for that matter people in general. Because that might mean we would have to change our ways, or maybe think of something else besides money or jobs.If you are making a living , money off something, your opinion should be thrown out because of a simple conflict of interest, or bias, you can not be objective.That would eliminate opinions from energy development, farmers, and ranchers ,anyone who stands to gain reward and benefit through money, concerning habitat ,and the sage grouse.No one is going to admit that their actions hurt something when they stand to make money from it.The Sage grouse is declining because a huge percentage of their habitat required for existence sagebrush, has been plowed up and destroyed, to plant monocultures of crops or grass.Some some of the remaining habitat is also grazed too heavily by cattle, which also destroys habitat for diversity of,grasses, Forbs, and insects, that feed the young sage grouse.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    Californian is right. California drained all the reservoirs a couple of years ago as the environmentalists don't like reservoirs. Now they are paying the piper. In Utah only 5% of the land is arable. Is someone telling me the sage grouse live just on that 5%? I am ok with stopping hunting of them, and ok with a little predator hunting season. I personally won't hunt even deer.

  • nebocreek Nephi, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    Pres. Nixon signed the order banning the use of 1080 poison on all Federal lands in 1973. It had been used to control predators but it had a secondary effect of killing birds of prey that fed on the carcasses of dead predators. Since the ban, the wildlife populations in the Western US have decreased dramatically. The poison not only was used to kill cougars and coyotes but skunks , racoons etc. Crows are notorious egg eaters, along with raccoons, foxes, coyotes etc. When predator numbers increase, prey species and their young decrease. Perhaps we are just seeing the balance in nature operate. Predators are controlled largely by 2 forces-- starvation and hunting. Starvation because of lack of prey base is part of the cycle. Hunting can, if used correctly, help level of the dramatic swings that can take place in wildlife and predator populations. Habitat certainly plays a part in the sage grouse problem, but, habitat without protection from predators will not solve the decline in population of the sage grouse. Its the same with our deer herds.

  • arand Huntsville, u
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    We should actually have some kind of season on hawks. I know, I know,they look so beautiful flying around, but guess what they eat. I do know they eat my neighbors chickens and I have seen them swoop down on quail. We have to manage predators as well as all wildlife. Let the States take care of their wildlife and keep the Feds out. Someone sitting behind a desk in DC has no clue.

  • WhatMadeTheRedManRed? Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 1:15 a.m.

    Why don't you all Non-Utahns worry about your own neck of the woods? Have you even spent $1 on Utah's wildlife preservation or given 5 minutes of your time on am environmental improvement project?... Yeah, didn't think so. When I hunt deer/elk I kick up about 20 grouse a day. Not so endangered in my experience. This happens in different parts of the state btw.
    So Crazy Crow, go bother Madison.

  • Madravenspeak PORTAGE, WI
    Feb. 18, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    I write a living wildlife column for the Capital Times in Wisconsin. One solution - stop shooting and killing the grouse. In fact. do a 180 degree turn and stop killing wildlife. Help them survive us. We have state agencies funded on killing licenses instead of general public funds and so the killing is being increased dramatically - and just like quail are gone across the entire country, in Wisconsin, the state agency did not stop killing sharp-tailed grouse even when the 635 licenses they sold only produced 27 birds to kill - birds that they killed!

    Wildlife populations across the board, including birds, and especially large mammals ( carnivores who are killed for trophy) have plummeted 35% in the past 35 years. We do not need billions of dollars of dirty fuels doing further damage to the climate, the water systems, the wildlife, and our earth. We do need intact biodiversity - but will NEVER have it as long as killers control our state agencies and money controls our politicians.

    Politicians are destroying our world because they are bought under Citizens United by dirty fuels, toxic factory farms, and hunters and trappers who are destroying innocent wildlife thinking somehow their egos are tied to it. What a world.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    @Anti Government - High deductible health insurance plans were growing in adoption rates before Obama was elected. Corporations are shifting health care and retirement expenses to workers to increase profitability, its not s direct a result of "Obamacare". The potential extinctions of an animal species is a very serious issues and is not a "radical environmentalist" issue. The Government needs to protect the public lands for all Americans. Conservation efforts need to gain more steam so we don't continue to destroy our habitat.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 7:14 p.m.

    Sage grouse preservation is an issue that should not be compared or confused with Medicaid. The government is able to decide on these issues separately. Most people are reticent to decrease predatory populations including non-native animals such as raccoons. You can have predators or you can have sage grouse, but not both.

  • Monsieur le prof Sandy, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 5:59 p.m.

    Studies show that even the CBO says that when all is said and done, an identical number of people (around 15%) will still not have health care. All Obamacare will have done is expand the government, wreck the healthcare system, ruin the quality of healthcare, and cost taxpayers billions and billions of dollars.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    Feb. 18, 2014 5:45 p.m.

    So Governor Herbert, What is your plan? We know your upset, we know the legislature wants to spend a couple of million on the problem...doing nothing is not a answer. What do plan to do? Some leadership please.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 4:51 p.m.

    Everyone is beating the habitat drum... but know one will talk about predators. Utah has lots of habitat that hasn't changed a bit for sage grouse in the last 60 years. However, predators have continued to get the love, affection, and protection of a warped public that doesn't understand the relationship they play in suppressing prey populations. Until someone has the courage to control sage grouse predators, particularly avian predators, no amount of work will increase grouse. Since the Des. News does not allow links you will have to Google "Impacts of Predation on Greater Sage-grouse in Strawberry" yourself for the evidence.

  • Californian Santa Ana, CA
    Feb. 18, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    The extreme environmentalists have destroyed California's water supply over a small fish they had declared endangered. Hundreds of miles of orchards in Central California are now dead trees and farms no longer exist for lack of water, but the fish survives. So do the hopes of a salmon run that hasn't happened in more than a hundred years. Towns are soon without drinking water in this very real drought. It's time to put reason and people above species. If wildfires have beeen part of the problem, that's a natural disaster, not one to change mining and oil production and the jobs they supply over. I hope Utah is able to convince the Feds and the crazies!! Balance, people!!

  • Lightening Lad Austin , TX
    Feb. 18, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    Maybe the Guv should be proactive rather than whinny and go full bore setting up cottage industries to hatch as many new birds as can be done. Any efforts they are currently working on can be multiplied many times.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    Feb. 18, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    Ralph West Jordan
    Okay. "Utah is one of the last to opt in or out of the Fed. Medicare subsidy." So which one is bad? Is it the "in" or the "out?" And isn't it a good thing when it's finally a "win win for the less fortunate?"

  • basinboy Roosevelt, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    The primary reason for sage grouse population decline is predation. The reasons stated in the article are secondary. Any ground-nesting bird is going to struggle with predators. Foxes and ravens are two of the main culprits. The reason the federal agencies overlook predation is that they have no control over it.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 4:05 p.m.

    Most of this birds habitat is on private land.

    Land that belongs to people not birds or environmentalists.
    NO ONE has the right to tell us what we can do with our land and if it comes down to it.

    Stay off of my land!
    If they really want to save this bird. They need to stop the federal government from burning up the land, ie wildfires. They need to have predator hunts to eliminate those animals that are robbing the eggs. Those two actions will help the most!

  • Anti Government Alpine, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 2:34 p.m.

    @ Ralph West Jordan

    I agree with you. Since obamacare went into effect and my company now has to cover, by law, all these additional things they dramatically reduced my coverage/benefits and my out of pocket increased by thousands before I get ANY actual insurance coverage at all. So before obamacare I had healthcare coverage that helped w a prescription for my son that is over $700 a month. Now it is ALL out of pocket and we can't afford it so my son will go without it. Obamacare is causing people who had some healthcare benefits to lose them or become unaffordable.

    As far as the sage grouse is concerned it seems pretty obvious that once again radical environmental policy rules the day. Potentially over $41 billion at risk because of.....a bird and what list the environmentalists want to put it on. Strange nobody seems outraged at that.

    Everybody whines though that we don't get hundreds of legislators and people together for whatever their topic or issue might be. Here is a news flash for you though. It doesn't cost $41 billion to provide all the healthcare for a significant portion of all people in this State.

  • Ralph West Jordan Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    Great! Herbert gathers together a couple hundred people and gets all worked up over endangered game birds, and well he should. How about gathering together a couple hundred legislators and business people and get worked up over the thousands of people, especially children who suffer from lack of Medical care! Utah is one of the last to opt in or out of the Fed. Medicare subsidy. Its win win for the less fortunate but then again as usual politics comes first on the hill and in the Govs. office!