Sage Grouse Protections Don’t Depend on the Endangered Species Act

Conservation efforts abound depsite grouse not being listed as an endangered species

Re: “Sage-grouse bill kicks the can down the road,” July 7 online guest commentary in The Denver Post.

This commentary on the sage grouse is quite misleading, including the claim that after the 2005 decision by the federal government not to list the grouse, conservation efforts “all but ceased.”

In reality, both prior to and after 2005, states devoted significant resources to studying and conserving the sage grouse, including innovative, results-oriented conservation initiatives.

Wyoming, which is ground zero for sage grouse because it harbors more of the population (37 percent) than any other state, completed its conservation plan in 2003, and continues to be heavily involved in conservation efforts.

Nevada and California (for the bistate population that straddles these states) and Washington completed their conservation plans for the greater sage grouse in 2004; Utah (for the Gunnison sub-species) and Montana in 2005; Idaho (2006), Colorado and South Dakota (2008); and Utah (2009).

Brian Seasholes is director of the Endangered Species Project at Reason Foundation. This letter to the editor originally appeared in The Denver Post.