Sage Grouse are an icon of the West and unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock the past few years you know that states like Wyoming, the energy industry, game and fish departments (both state and federal) and groups like the Audubon Society have been going full court press to help the birds not just maintain but grow in number.
Unfortunately, growth hasn’t been the case overall and the big birds continue to struggle. However, the fight is far from over even in the face of, “Wildland fire, invasive annual grasses, conifer encroachment, and drought…”https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/07/25/liz-cheney-bob-budd-sage-grouse-management-continues-to-be-critical-for-wyomings-future/
Of course the greatest fear concerning Greater Sage Grouse is an ESA listing. Such action would likely bring catastrophic results to western states and our country as whole via the effective killing of western economies; think billions of dollars being stripped away thanks to closures of public lands to energy development, livestock production and, yup… public access for just about any reason.
Not a bird hunter? What about pronghorn, mule deer or elk? Other multiple uses? If the Greater Sage Grouse is listed on the ESA you stand to lose access to hundreds of thousands of public land acres, period.
Continued work is imperative to combat Greater Sage Grouse habitat loss but the framework is in place, all we need do is put in the work, putting our money where our mouth is, dig in and do what right for the Greater Sage Grouse and the sagebrush ecosystem both it and numerous other species who inhabit this “mini-forest” call home.
Sportsmen in particular have done it before; we brought pronghorns back from the brink, recovered the wild turkey, whitetail deer, American elk… we can do it again and this time we have help!
Wyoming is home to an estimated 300,000 Greater Sage Grouse. That’s a lot of birds but make no mistake, overall the birds are struggling. As mentioned above there are a laundry list of reasons; feral horses, disruption of breeding grounds… the list is long, it is not just one thing and thanks to that this bird and its habitat need ALL of us on board to do what American sportsmen have always done; act as the foremost conservationists in the world.