LETTER: Very wise birds, not so smart humans | PostIndependent.com

LETTER: Very wise birds, not so smart humans

The living arrangements of the sage- (very wise) grouse are being disputed between the Bureau of Land Management and our Garfield County commissioners.

Actually, they are called “sage-” grouse because they eat sagebrush. The BLM, based on scientific research, estimated the area of their range. The county believes the habitat should only be about 25 percent of that figure.

The county has no apparent credentials regarding birds, but they have their eye on an estimated $406 million in future property taxes from oil and gas in the same area. I distinctly recall receiving an avalanche of very large postcards touting the current commissioners, and attacking their opponents, in recent elections. The cards were often from groups I had never heard of. The commissioners are definitely birds of a feather when it comes to oil and gas.

Colorado Mountain College has been working very hard of late to teach me something called “critical thinking.” Here is an example: Would the commissioners care at all about sage-grouse habitat if there were no oil or gas in the area?

One observer is hoping that the “bird can survive, the habitat can survive and we can survive.” He just raised the stakes: If the birds live, we could die.

Patrick Hunter

Garfield County

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