Cuckoo Update


Recently CSSGA reported on the association’s efforts to contest the U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s (USFW) proposed critical habitat of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo bird (YBC). We shared the letter that was submitted from Sen. Gardner and Rep. Tipton to Dan Ashe, USFW director, reaffirming their position that there “does not appear to be sufficient justification for the designation of Critical Habitat for the YBC within Colorado, especially in light of the economic harm it would cause to our communities”.

Today, CSSGA is pleased to report that industry’s voice is being heard on this issue. Dan Ashe responded to the Sen. Gardner and Rep. Tipton’s letter on July 21. Highlights from the letter are listed below:

  • “A final decision on this proposal is not anticipated until later 2015 or early 2016 as we anticipate at least one additional public comment period.”
  • “An area may be excluded from a critical habitat designation based on economic impact…if we determine that the benefits of excluding it outweigh the benefits of including it… the Service is considering excluding the two San Luis Valley Units (except perhaps on Federal Land) from the final critical habitat designation.”
  • “These two units being considered for exclusion represent about half of the total proposed designation in Colorado (approximately 18,500 acres). Moreover, we received considerable public comment on the proposed critical habitat rule, and we may consider additional areas for exclusion if they meet the criteria laid out in the proposal.”

Thank you to our Western Slope producers for your comments, time, and attention to this issue. Please contact the association offices with any questions.

Annelise Shepherd
Administrative Assistant
Colorado Stone, Sand & Gravel Association