[Tweeters] Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse State listing

Denis DeSilvis avnacrs4birds at outlook.com
Fri Dec 1 17:35:23 PST 2017


Tweeters,
The Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (STGR) is currently listed as "threatened" in Washington State by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). It is my contention that this species should be listed as "endangered."

The Fish and Wildlife Commission will play host to the status review of this species at 2PM on Friday, December 8, at the regularly scheduled Commission meeting in Olympia (http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2017/12/agenda_dec0717.html). (See below.) At this meeting, the WDFW Diversity Division will present that the STGR should continued to be listed as "threatened" and not uplisted to "endangered."

An adjunct to the periodic status review (PSR) of this species indicates that just 608 of these birds remain in eastern Washington, scattered over eight areas, in 2017. This is the lowest the population has been since the year 2000, when an estimated population was 895. According to the state biologist working the PSR, a viable population for this species in a single area should be about 300 birds. The highest estimate currently is 132 birds in the Crab Creek area. The state threshold for uplisting is, I believe, 400 birds. The fact that the population has fallen by one-third in the past 17 years is indicative of a trend that may only be downward for this iconic species. A single wildfire may drive this total population below the threshold, and hearkens back to the status of the Heath Hen on Martha's Vineyard in the early part of the 20th century.

The Greater Sage Grouse has more visibility in this state, but the Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse is also worthy of consideration and of your support. Please send a message to the Fish and Wildlife Commission urging uplisting this species to "endangered." Better yet, attend the meeting and voice your concern to them. I'll definitely be there to do so.

//Denis

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Public can comment on proposed simplified fishing rules, protective status of Columbian sharp-tailed grouse

OLYMPIA — ...

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also will take public comment on the department's recommendation to continue to classify the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse as threatened under state law.

...

The special meeting will be followed by a two-day meeting Dec. 8-9 in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 8. ...

An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/<https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwdfw.wa.gov%2Fcommission%2F&data=02%7C01%7Croyhome%40outlook.com%7Cb635f0531f234037706408d53913e701%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636477679990027554&sdata=OnE6eYfjjeMEA09CW2rHjYzrsKcynneeb1Tz%2BMHniB0%3D&reserved=0>.

...

In other business, the commission will hold a public hearing on state wildlife managers' recommendation to continue to classify the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse as threatened under state law.

The sharp-tailed grouse was listed as a threatened species in Washington in 1998. The remaining populations of sharp-tailed grouse in Washington are small, relatively isolated from one another, and may not persist unless they increase in number.

The draft review on the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse is available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/status_review/<https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwdfw.wa.gov%2Fconservation%2Fendangered%2Fstatus_review%2F&data=02%7C01%7Croyhome%40outlook.com%7Cb635f0531f234037706408d53913e701%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636477679990027554&sdata=YJaUFx9wJJePOBBxcUL8FqB%2Bgu%2FoPJZsMeMOaGdiZ10%3D&reserved=0>.

The commission also will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to rules for compensating commercial livestock owners for animals killed or injured by wolves. The changes, proposed by WDFW, are intended to increase clarity, streamline the process, and provide consistency with state law and the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

In addition, commissioners will take public comment on salmon management in Willapa Bay, and receive briefings on:

* Target shooting ranges on WDFW-managed lands.
* A proposed translocation of mountain goats from the Olympic Peninsula to the North Cascades.
* WDFW's role in regulating private aquaculture net-pen operations that produce Atlantic salmon.
* The state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and future planning efforts.
* An organizational and management assessment of WDFW.
* An overview of the department's budget.

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May all your birds be identified,
Denis DeSilvis
avnacrs4birds at outlook.com





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