Matt Mead

The Trump administration vs. the sage grouse — one more way to undermine the Endangered Species Act

The Trump administration vs. the sage grouse — one more way to undermine the Endangered Species Act

The sage grouse can’t catch a break. The bird with a riveting mating ritual and a 40-million-year lineage, which provided sustenance for Plains Indians and settlers all across the American West, has long been imperiled. According to scientists’ rough estimates, 16 million sage grouse once lived from the Dakotas to northeastern California. But humans destroyed half the birds’ habitat, and only a few hundred thousand are left.

In 2015, the bird’s prospects seemed to improve. Scientists, oil and gas developers, ranchers, mining companies, environmentalists, hunters and federal, state and local government officials of both parties finalized a multistate science-based plan to protect it....

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