Joan McCarter looks at some of Wyoming’s recent strategies to protect sage grouse, avoid ESA listing of Sage grouse to keep Oil & Gas happy.
Is the sage grouse the 21st century’s spotted owl? – NewWest
The recent hustle and bustle that has surrounded Sage grouse follows a federal judge’s summary judgment decision finding Bush’s Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision to deny the bird protection was arbitrary and capricious as plaintiff Western Watersheds Project had argued. Julie MacDonald was heavily implicated in the decision.
As folk might remember, WWP’s settlement following this decision extended the deadline for a new listing decision from FWS until later this year – until after completion of a West-wide comprehensive study on the bird’s status, so that details of that study would inform the new determination. The justice department, representing FWS, signed that agreement. Very soon after, Bush’s FWS tried to pull out of the settlement – wanting to make a new decision before completion of the study. Hmmm…
The listing of sage grouse could potentially re-invent land management throughout the West in the country’s most imperilled landscape – the Sagebrush Sea – bringing meaningful protections to the landscape, Sage grouse – and to a host of other species dependent on the Sagebrush Sea.