This from the Associated Press.......

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — State officials are planning to hire five full-time employees this summer to protect a bird species that's a candidate for the federal endangered species list.

Montana plans to spend about $500,000 annually on the salaries for at least five new positions, starting with a program director, who will oversee the management of sage grouse.

The team will be housed in the governor's office and tasked with distributing $10 million over the next two years to conserve the habitat and population of the ground-dwelling bird.

A court-ordered deadline requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide by Sept. 30 whether the animal will be added to a list of threatened or endangered species. Montana and other Western states are taking steps they hope will make the designation and accompanying federal regulations unnecessary.

So, the first question....where do we sign up?

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