There are several mistakes in the lead, front page article of the March 20, 2013, DCI about Gunnison sage grouse. The first and most glaring is using the map in the article as a representation of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service critical habitat.
That map is from the Gunnison Sage Grouse Rangewide Conservation Plan produced by the Colorado Division of Wildlife with cooperation of several other involved agencies. The map caption is correct in stating that the red area depicts current occupied habitat. However, the green area of the map shows historic Gunnison sage grouse range, not proposed critical habitat as stated in the caption. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed critical habitat designation is much smaller than the historic habitat and can be found in the Federal Register at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;
D=FWS-R6-ES-2012-0108-0003. (See above illustration)
The article was correct in stating the critical habitat acreage is 1.7 million acres but the historic habitat was 13.7 million acres.
A few other errors in the article are stating that DDT was responsible for removing unwanted flora. DDT was and still is an agricultural insecticide which does not kill plants. Federal land management agencies were not responsible for widespread application of DDT. Most applications went on private lands to increase crop yields. Also, "throwing you in jail for killing a sage chicken" for the 30 years from 1955 is not correct since hunting was allowed for Gunnison sage grouse from 1953 to 1972 and again from 1989 to 1993 with variations in some game management units. During those years, the Gunnison sage grouse and greater sage grouse were considered one species. In 2000, the Gunnison sage grouse was declared a separate species after extensive research.
As the retired district wildlife manager in the Crawford area and coordinator for the local sage grouse working group, I would be glad to talk about our working group efforts to keep the Crawford population of Gunnison sage grouse viable and not become extirpated.