Las Vegas Sun

December 18, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Mono Basin grouse need our help

Your article “BLM issues proposed plans to save sage grouse” on Nov. 2 should tell all of us who call the desert home to listen to what our wildlife has to say.

Unbridled livestock grazing and development have fractured the fragile Mono Basin ecosystem, causing a 70 percent drop in bi-state sage grouse.

We urgently need to reverse our impact on the grouse. Las Vegas’ proposal to siphon more than 27 billion gallons of groundwater per year from at least four counties in central Nevada will only make the grouse’s situation worse.

When Los Angeles tapped the Mono Basin for water in 1941, Mono Lake fell by 25 feet and virtually destroyed the breeding grounds for alkali flies and brine shrimp. Some migrating birds that depended upon these species for survival lost 99 percent of their populations.

In its 40-year history, the Endangered Species Act has protected 99 percent of the animals it was designed to protect. These spring-fed ecosystems in central Nevada are irreplaceable, as are the grouse and other animals who call it home.

The grouse and the water should stay exactly where nature put them.

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