How One Odd Bird Embodies the Endangered Species Act Debate
In the battle over the sage grouse and Western lands, a hard-won compromise is now in danger.
The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have launched a new assault on the Endangered Species Act, the 1973 law credited with saving dozens of animals and plants. These include such icons as bald eagles, grizzly bears, and Florida manatees, and other species that many of us have never heard of—such as the Hidden Lake bluecurl, a small plant with delicate blue flowers that grows along a single lake in the San Jacinto Mountains of southern California. Earlier this month the bluecurl became the latest of dozens of species to be officially taken off the list, because officials determined that its population had recovered.
The sage grouse is in a way the opposite of the bluecurl. Its habitat stretches