Taking concern for the life of the sage grouse to a new level, the governor of Wyoming is convening a Sage Grouse Summit on June 27 and 28 in Casper, WY, "to develop a plan to protect and restore core sage grouse habitat."

Headliners include Gov. Dave Freudenthal and C. Stephen Allred, the Wyoming's assistant secretary of the interior, as well as other state and federal officials.

"We have a narrow window of opportunity to protect the grouse and prevent it from being listed as an endangered species," Freudenthal said. "My hope is that we can formulate a more unified plan that will balance protection with reasonable energy exploration, grazing and other activities that have and will continue to take place in sage grouse habitat."

Others joining the conference include: Bob Bennett, Wyoming state director for the Bureau of Land Management; Terry Cleveland, Wyoming game and fish director; Bob Budd, executive director of the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, as well as others representing the energy industry, conservation groups and private landowners.

"It promises to be a lively discussion that hopefully will result in a coordinated plan to move forward," Freudenthal said. "I encourage all interested parties to attend so we can immediately begin to address the challenge before us." The conference will be held at Casper College's Krampert Theater. A detailed agenda for the summit will be released soon and posted on the governor's website: http://governor.wy.gov.

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