~ Jon Marvel
Today, in response to successful litigation brought by Western Watersheds Project and our attorneys at Advocates For The West, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced Greater Sage Grouse would not be protected by listing the species under the protections of the Endangered Species Act.
The Secretary did acknowledge that listing was warranted but was precluded by other species with a higher priority for protection.
The decision not to list Greater Sage Grouse is in response to a great deal of political pressure from western states and extractive industries including oil. gas and renewable energy development interests as well as traditional uses like livestock grazing and energy transmission facilities.
Western Watersheds Project will review the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service support documents for this decision and determine if the agency has complied with the law.
If it is clear that the law has been violated, WWP will then decide if additional litigation would be helpful to protect this disappearing species in the American west.
Ultimately the protection of Greater Sage Grouse will benefit a diversity of wildlife and habitat on public lands that span the Sagebrush Sea, the most imperiled landscape in North America.