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Governor Intends To Sign Sage Grouse Legislation

Governor John Kitzhaber says he intends to sign a bill the legislature passed last month that proponents say will help conserve sage grouse in Oregon. It would protect the personal information of ranchers taking part in conservation efforts.

The bill carves out an exemption in Oregon’s public records law for a range of information relating to the landowner, his or her business and property.

Bill Hoyt is a rancher and lobbied for the bill on behalf of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

He says most conservation agreements require ranchers to divulge a host of personal information that some want to keep private.

“We would like to keep the sage grouse off the endangered species list. Anything that we can do to help people or encourage folks to get involved in habitat restoration.  And I think this is really a joint effort,” Hoyt said.

The governor’s office put out a statement calling the legislation a “great next step forward.” 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has until 2015 to decide whether to list the sage grouse as an endangered species.

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