As January draws to a close, it won’t be long until male sage grouse once again strut across their historic breeding grounds in hopes of attracting a mate. A Montana legislator wants biologists to count all those birds, because the species faces an uncertain future as state and federal lawmakers fight the rules created to encourage the bird’s survival.
More than a year ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided the sage grouse did not need Endangered Species Act protection, but the ruling was based on all the management plans created by state and federal agencies to conserve the species. More than half the remaining sage grouse live on national forest and BLM public lands, so federal sage grouse plans are key to the survival of the species.Read More