How An Iconic Western Bird Is Stepping Back From the Brink
After a long and controversial wait, the U.S. government decided not to place the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
The greater sage grouse, the charismatic North American bird that has dwindled rapidly in recent decades, doesn't need protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. government announced Tuesday.
The decision is thanks to the work of 11 western states in protecting private and public land for the bird—what U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell calls "the largest land conservation effort in U.S history."
"It's a huge #WildlifeWin," Jewell tweeted Tuesday morning. (Also see "Can Sage-Grouse Be Saved Without Shutting Down the West?")
Though the species isn't out of the woods yet, the decision is a testament to how organizations, individuals, and the government can work together to save a species.
Several wildlife and research groups applauded the move.
"This decision illustrates