Gunnison Sage GrouseThe grouse war is heating up inside the Beltway and here at home, where Democrats are divided as to whether the bird should be listed as an endangered species.

Gov. Hickenlooper gave surety to Coloradans Tuesday that he has been assured by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell that the economically devastating listing can be avoided.

However, Democratic U.S. Reps. Jared Polis and Diana DeGette are leading the fight this week against legislation that would delay the September decision for several years, giving states and local officials more time to put their own conservation measures in place, at considerable expense we might add, in order to avoid the listing altogether. A decision will be made tonight as to whether the amendment supported by those Coloradans will see the light of day on the House floor on Thursday or Friday.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects in the environmental community are adding insult to injury with a letter to Hick and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner claiming credit for work done by local officials to stave off the listing.

In their psychotic parallel universe, the tens of millions of dollars spent to protect the grouse would be all for naught if the listing is delayed.  They didn’t send a letter to Bennet, so we presume he is for the listing the grouse.

Finally, in a rare show of honesty, EnviroNews chimed in the debate, nicknaming the sage grouse the “monkeywrencher bird,” because the listing would through a monkeywrench into the economy west of the Mississippi, crippling ranching, farming, oil, gas, timber and coal, as well as home building and recreation.

It’s a cluster all right. We will keep Peak Nation™ apprised this week as monkeywrenching warrants.