November 11, 2020 by Aliyah Rich
This week, E&E reported that federal wildlife officials’ hands would again be tied in their attempts to protect the iconic Western sage grouse. The sage grouse – a ground-dwelling bird known for its unique mating dance – is a critical indicator species that has seen protections rolled back, habitat evaporate, and population numbers plummet in the name of unchecked oil and gas development during the Trump administration. Congress is proposing an unnecessary appropriations bill rider that would prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from assessing and providing additional protections for the birds’ habitat – home to 350-plus other species, including mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope.