The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday that they have listed the greater sage grouse as a candidate species under the Endangered Species Act, saying the bird warranted protection under the Act, but was precluded by higher-priority species. Governor Dave Freudenthal says he accepts the ruling even though he may not agree with it.
The Governor said Wyoming will continue working to safeguard habitat for the sage grouse through his core areas initiative. He also thanked the sage grouse implementation team for helping to develop sound conservation policy.
The Wyoming Wildlife Federation also issued a media release where Director Walt Gasson said that they are encouraged yet cautiously optimistic about the ruling. Gasson hopes that this will prompt some support for change in the way energy development is done – both traditional and renewable – in Wyoming.
After giving the public 90 days to comment on the proposal, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to publish a final finding within a year.