There are about 400,000 greater sage grouse left in the West, nesting in the sagebrush from California to North Dakota. That’s a fraction of what their numbers were just a century ago, when homesteaders described them as blackening out the skies. Human development is the culprit.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has to decide whether or not the greater sage grouse needs protections under the Endangered Species Act. Some fear that the red tape and restrictions to development that would come with a “endangered” listing would turn small rural hubs into ghost towns.
So the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish, a sportsmen’s group, a consulting firm, an oil and gas company, a conservation group and a local cattle association have all come together to try and protect the sage grouse. The shared hope is that if they put sufficient protections in place, the bird won’t be listed as endangered.
Dean Clause, Wyoming Game and Fish biologist
They need very large, vast expanses of sage brush that are relatively quiet and undisturbed. In this day and age, with more people and more and more activity on the landscape, to try to minimize development and disturbance, it’s not always feasible.
Albert Sommers, Wyoming Rancher
In this industry we’re in, we’re multigenerational, we are sustainability. We can’t abuse the landscape we’re in.
Paul Ulrich, Jonah Energy (an oil and gas company)
A listing would be devastating to our operations … And the issue isn’t just oil and gas. It’s ranchers, recreationalists, conservation groups. The impact across the board is significant.
Tom Christiansen, Wyoming’s Sage Grouse Program Coordinator
This sage grouse conservation effort on a range-wide scale is the largest conservation effort ever undertaken for a single species, period.
Travis Bruner, Executive Director of Western Watersheds
You can sum up all of the plans to protect sage grouse that have occurred over the last year and a half as ‘planning to plan.’
“All due respect, commander… Right thing to do is to answer that call. May not mean much to the UNSC to head out on a mission like this. But if someone’s alive down there, it’ll mean everything to them.“
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liz: ahhh a porsche carrera! sweet. it screams “rich dude & girlfriend on board” red: so maybe we shouldn’t– liz: we are so taking it liz: *hands red the key* liz: let’s go red: … liz: … red: *approaches the car as if it were a small, timid animal* red: *slowly peeks inside* red: *looks lost* red: *looks again* red: *looks even more lost and slightly alarmed* red: um… but… liz: but what? red: but there is no dembe, lizzie red: how will this move without a dembe?