Male sage grouse strut during their annual mating dance.  Photo credit: National Parks Service

Male sage grouse strut during their annual mating dance. Photo credit: National Parks Service

When people start talking about the sage grouse, we hear “blah, blah, blah, sage grouse, blah, no development, blah, environmentalist nut jobs, blah, blah.”  But, this issue is important.  An article in The Denver Post by the plucky Lynn Bartels, perhaps inadvertently, demonstrates how ridiculous the push to save the sage grouse has become.  And, yet, where is Sen. Mark Udall on this issue?  From her article:

“Blueprints have been changed to relocate driveways and even bathroom windows, where lights turned on early in the morning could disrupt the birds’ elaborate mating ritual.” (the Peak emphasis)

For the love of God, do not turn the lights on when the birds are having sex.  And this:

For example, landowners with a chunk of property often want to build in a remote spot, Cochran said. If they are in a sage grouse zone, he talks to them about moving the house closer to the road — an existing impact — to free up other spots on the land for the birds. If the landowner is going to erect a number of buildings, they must be in a cluster, not scattered.

And, finally, this about the local implications should the bird be placed on the endangered species list:

“But should this unusual unified effort fail to win a shout-out from the feds, Swenson said there could be serious impacts on the locals. Among them: even stricter building regulations, more rules for recreation enthusiasts enjoying federal land, even problems renewing federal grazing permits critical to ranchers.”

The unified effort Bartels is writing about is the strange bedfellows this issue has made out of hippies, farmers and ranchers in Gunnison County.  Yet, no Mark Udall.

But, here’s what is so utterly ridiculous about this scenario: the federal government is forcing landowners to bend over backwards to accommodate an arbitrary mandate about a four-pound bird, yet environmentalists are frying 28,000 birds per year with solar panels.  Where is Mark Udall?  As we mentioned last month in an overview of an AP report on birds spontaneously combusting over solar energy plants:

Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair. [the Peak’s emphasis].

Does Colorado not have a leader willing to stand up to the federal government’s intrusion into the lives of our citizens?  This episode just further underscores how ridiculous Udall’s claim that the White House feared him is.  They don’t fear Udall, the White House walks all over him, and Colorado.