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PNS Daily Newscast - September 18, 2018 


Kavanaugh now expected to meet his accuser at an open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Also on the Tuesday rundown: An Albany rally calls for a million solar households; and #GetCaughtReading – a weeklong campaign for readers of all ages.

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Farmers Union: Time to Brainstorm About the Bird

PHOTO: Agriculture and conservation groups are reaching out to the oil and gas industry to collaborate to keep the greater sage grouse off the Endangered Species list. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Gary Kramer.
PHOTO: Agriculture and conservation groups are reaching out to the oil and gas industry to collaborate to keep the greater sage grouse off the Endangered Species list. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Gary Kramer.
August 21, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to make a decision in about a year as to whether to list the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Western Energy Alliance, an oil and gas trade advocacy group, is buying ad time claiming an ESA listing for the grouse will cost jobs.

Bill Midcap, director of external affairs at the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, says a listing wouldn't be good for agriculture either. In conjunction with several other groups, Midcap has signed onto a letter asking the Western Energy Alliance to sit down at the table with ag, conservation, landowner and sportsmen groups to come up with ways to ensure the sage grouse thrives. Wyoming state leaders have already spearheaded a similar process.

"As Westerners, we know how to compromise, and we know how to hammer out innovative solutions to tough problems," says Midcap. "We can do a lot better."

While Wyoming is leading the way, Midcap says it will take a regionwide approach to keep the bird away from the ESA. Midcap believes the West can "have it all," from protecting property rights, to preserving habitat to ensuring new oil and gas development.

"I just think that to come to some kind of solution with everyone from farm, ranch, oil and gas, is the best step forward," he says.

The sage grouse's habitat covers millions of acres in multiple states. Midcap says the bird has lost about half of its traditional habitat to development and fires.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY