The imperious nature of how the federal government callously listed the Gunnison sage grouse as “threatened” has left a bad taste in every Coloradans’ mouth. In an illuminating op-ed for The Pueblo Chieftain, Dustin Zvonek, Colorado State Director for Americans for Prosperity, rips apart this unnecessary, heavy-handed over reach by the Federal government. As Zvonek writes:
In a move that could prove fatal to the economy of Southwestern Colorado, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced the listing of the Gunnison sage grouse as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. The decision poses a grave threat to property rights…
Passed over 40 years ago, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has largely devolved into a failed political tool, plagued by questionable science and an absolutely dismal success rate of 1 percent. Typically a listing under the ESA is a precursor to economic disaster for local communities, as federal bureaucrats strip away the property rights and livelihoods of those residing in the affected areas… [the Peak‘s emphasis]
The new federal regulations come despite local communities in Southwest Colorado going to extraordinary lengths to come together and work with conservationist in an attempt to revive the sage grouse population without federal prompting. Such efforts make this listing even more of a slap to the face. Instead of encouraging other local communities to follow such a model in the future, the federal government’s callousness in this matter only encourages all parties involved to view this in an antagonistic light, rather than as a coming together to work for the greater good. As Zovnek writes:
Many states such as Colorado have been collaborating with both conservationists and business interests such as farmers, ranchers, and energy producers in successful efforts to preserve endangered species while also ensuring the preservation of jobs and local economies.
Yet instead of applauding and encouraging these partnerships, these irrational listings discourage such collaborative efforts.
Once again, an overreaching government presumes to have God-like power, and know what is best for situations and issues a thousand miles removed from where they dictate such life-altering edicts.