Thursday, August 7, 2014
Help Save the Henefer Greater Sage-Grouse Lek!
Hello fellow bird watchers,
Do you know what a Lek is? I didn't, until Rahul sent me an invitation to attend a special meeting to try to convince the Morgan County Planning Commission not to approve an amendment to the Morgan County Future Land Use Map.
Definition of Lek: an assembly area where animals (as the prairie chicken) carry on display and courtship behavior; also : an aggregation of animals assembled on a lek for courtship.
The Greater Sage-Grouse is very close to being on the endangered list. So close, that land where this springtime mating ritual takes place is being rushed to sale to developers. In order to make the sale, the land use designation has to be amended to redesignate approximately 2980.4 acres from “Natural Resources and Recreation” to “Master Planned Community.” In short, the lek sits in the midst of this acreage where they want to build a 'planned community'. The birds would be gone if this happens. To even view these birds, you have to arrive before sunrise, stay in your vehicle and make no disturbances, since the Greater Sage-Grouse is very affected by human disturbance. For more information about these special birds read Mia McPherson's blog post here.
~ Or this article in the Examiner .
Just Google Henefer Lek and you will see why this is so important. A SPECIAL place that hosts a very special bird.
So next Thursday, August 14 at 6:30 there will be a hearing in Morgan to decide whether the county will approve the re-designation. PLEASE attend if you can. I am working on car pools, since this is an hour+ drive from my home in Sandy. Email me if you are interested Liz@utahrox.com.
Here is the latest information from Rahul (you can find more information on this Facebook page as well https://www.facebook.com/groups/267942483401556/:
I spoke to Bill Cobabe a few days ago and he is the zoning administrator for the land which covers the lek. He told me that Yaryca LLC currently owns the land and that they are looking to sell off the land as it is in high demand for property developers. Yaryca is looking to sell off the land ASAP in fear that the sage-grouse may be listed as a federally protected species soon. If this were to happen, the developers would no longer be able to develop that land. Bill told me that there have been previous meetings concerning this lek but he hadn't been able to get the word out to people. He told me that there would only be 4 or 5 people that would attend the meetings and that the low attendance has caused Yaryca to somewhat ignore the concerns regarding the lek. Bill explained to me that the matter is quite urgent as there is not much we would be able to do after, if Yaryca sells the land.
However, he said that a high attendance to the public hearing may make all the difference. This is a matter of concern because at the moment, our expected attendance for the hearing is very low and we only have a week left until the hearing! Therefore, I ask you all to please attend this public hearing. Your words will have an impact and thus we need your support! I would recommend that all of you state on the events page, whether or not you would be able to attend the hearing so that we have an idea of how many people will be attending and how many more people we would need to have for the hearing. ~ Rahul Mukherjee
Posted by Liz Schubert at 10:57:00 AM