Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Friday that the greater sage grouse will receive a “warranted but precluded” listing under the Endangered Species Act.
This recommendation means U.S. Fish and Wildlife recognizes the sage grouse as an endangered species, but there are significant efforts in place already to protect the species.
“We need to find smart ways of protecting the (sage grouse) habitat while also developing much needed energy resources and allowing the continued use of our Western land,” Salazar said during a teleconference Friday.
He also said that without the listing, the long-term prognosis for the sage grouse was “not good.”
“We must, and will, expand our support for local and state conservation efforts for the greater sage grouse, which is now a candidate species,” Salazar said.
Salazar said agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management will work to “assure that energy production, recreational access, other uses of federal lands including ranching and grazing will continue in ways that limit the effect on the bird.”
“The smarter we are with planning on the front-end, the fewer conflicts and controversy we will have on the back end,” Salazar said.
Salazar said that he hopes the window of time given to protect the bird under this listing will restore it to sustainable levels.
“My hope is that with smart action we take in partnership with the states and private land owners that we will never have to list the sage grouse as a threatened and endangered species,” he said.
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