Local business once again on track to be first in U.S. to breed species in captivity
Posted Thursday, January 16, 2020 8:25 am | By Mark Davis
A Powell game bird farm has been given a green light to move to the next step in raising greater sage grouse by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, with plans to collect grouse eggs this spring.
Representatives from the department inspected Diamond Wings Upland Game Birds’ new hatching facilities, equipment and segregated pens on Saturday. On Wednesday, Diamond Wings manager Karl Bear said he received notice from Game and Fish Law Enforcement Supervisor Mike Choma that the farm’s application and inspection process “is complete and approved.”
Diamond Wings leaders are already working on their next plan of action, deciding between pointing dogs or radio telemetry during their search for wild sage grouse eggs, Bear said.
There has never been a successful effort to breed sage grouse in captivity in the U.S. Diamond Wings, the largest game bird farm in the state, has been the only farm to apply for a permit since the Wyoming Legislature passed 2017 legislation allowing private game bird farms to attempt the experiment.
Diamond Wings, located west of Powell on Lane 10, applied to raise the species each of the last two years and received initial Game and Fish approval. However, those efforts ended when farm managers decided to step away from the process due to the cost of new facilities and equipment.
This year is different. Thanks to financial help from former owner and energy entreprenuer Diemer True, facilities were in place for the inspection and ready to move forward. True started a nonprofit foundation last year to raise donations for the expensive renovation process; begun as the Diamond Sage Grouse Foundation, it's now named the Western States Sage Grouse Recovery Foundation.