Box Elder County commissioners have been at the forefront of the ongoing battle with the federal government to keep the greater sage-grouse off the endangered species list. Such a listing could affect ranching, grazing and other forms of agriculture throughout the county and the western United States.
Now the county leaders are adding their voices, and their signatures, to a petition to the Department of the Interior asking that another bird be declassified in order to protect the sage-grouse population.
In a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the commissioners requested the delisting of the raven from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The common raven was placed on that list as a possibly threatened species in the 1970s, but since that time, studies have shown the bird population has increased. Some numbers indicate a 1,500 percent increase in the last 25 years in the western United States, and at least 300 percent in the overall United States.
The upsurge in the common black raven has been a contributing factor in the decline in sage-grouse, the letter stated.
Find about what commissioners are proposing. Its in the Leader.