By Molly Messick
Laramie, WY –
The federal Bureau of Land Management has announced a plan to preserve the greater sage-grouse across the bird's eleven-state range. According to Brian Rutledge, with the Rocky Mountain Region of the National Audubon Society, it is an effort to extend the sage-grouse protections that were begun in Wyoming. Under former Governor Dave Freudenthal, the state established its so-called "core areas strategy" to preserve key sage grouse habitat.
"What has to be noted is - that the challenges are different in different states. So it's through that multidisciplinary work, where all the stakeholders on the land where that bird lives have the opportunity to create the dynamic that protects the bird."
Last spring, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that the greater sage-grouse warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act, but it did not go so far as to list the bird. According to the B-L-M, Wyoming is home to more than half of the remaining greater sage-grouse in the U.S.