January 01, 2015

All Is Not Quiet on the Western Front: An Overview of the Greater Sage-Grouse Proceedings

Elizabeth A. Schulte

The Lewis and Clark journals describe an abundance of greater sage-grouse (GSG) (Centrocercus urophasianus)—a brownish-gray bird with a long spiky tail—across a wide range of land in the early nineteenth century. The future of the GSG, a species that still occupies vast swaths of arid sagebrush in the western United States, is spurring a long-standing debate, including whether to list it for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. §§ 1531 et seq.). Indeed, such a listing will have far-reaching impacts on the future of millions of acres of land currently inhabited by the GSG. This decision impacts the interests of (1) federal agencies responsible for protecting jeopardized species; (2) federal agencies responsible for managing 72 percent of the GSG range; (3) eleven western states, home to GSG and key habitat areas on both private and state-owned lands; and (4) private interests that rely on both public and private lands.

Premium Content For:
  • Environment, Energy, and Resources Section
Join - Now