Sage Grouse Won’t Be Added to Endangered Species List


By Faye Hoffman

The Secretary of the Interior has apparently decided that the sage grouse will not be added to the government's list of endangered species.

The grouse, noted for its elaborate courtship and mating dance, is a good–sized bird that lives in sagebrush–covered areas of the West. With less and less sagebrush land available, the bird's numbers have been dropping for decades.

There's been a campaign underway to list the sage grouse as endangered, which would result in much tighter regulation of grazing and energy exploration and development in the West.

An estimated 150 million acres would potentially have been affected.

It's not clear whether the interior secretary has made a formal announcement, but a number of western states’ senators were told it would be made Friday, after Secretary Gale Norton had given the news to a private conference Thursday night at a Phoenix resort.

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