They worried the feds were going to shut down the West.
Five years ago, federal scientists recommended adding a new name to the endangered species list: the greater sage grouse, an obscure but once-omnipresent bird whose population had been in steep decline for more than a century.
The catch: The bird dwells in the scrubby carpet of sagebrush that stretches across 165 million acres and 11 western states – land that also includes oil and gas fields, wind energy farms, mines and cattle ranches. Many political and industry leaders said an endangered listing would strangle the western economy.
Then came Tuesday, when after years of fear, federal policymakers showed...