The Obama Administration’s decision to not list the greater sage-grouse as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a prudent one. It not only reflects the most recent sage grouse population trends, but also encourages ongoing cooperative conservation efforts that are showing clear signs of success.
CRS president David Jenkins said, “The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision not to list the greater sage-grouse is a credit to cooperative conservation efforts of the Bush and Obama Administrations, state wildlife agencies and everyone who has answered the call to conserve sage-grouse habitat.” He added, “This decision is a clear measure of success for a truly conservative approach to conservation, but success will be fleeting without continued diligence and an enduring commitment to effective stewardship.”
Securing a long-term and sustainable sage-grouse recovery will require that federal and state land use plans be firm in their protection of sage-grouse habitat, and that appeals to water down these plans by short-sighted special interests be rejected.
CRS also encourages future administrations to recognize the importance of utilizing the ESA sooner rather than later should the sage-grouse population resume its decline trend.