List Sage Grouse? Of course. Without federal listing we will keep pointing fingers in all directions except where it matters most. We’ve been fooling around with collaborative efforts for decades. If paper plans and voluntary agreements were capable of saving sage grouse, it would have already happened.
Other than moaning over drought and fires, meaningful conservation is still lacking. There has been some “look what I’ve done to save sage grouse” planning and projects. But until forced to carry out changes in land uses and practices, sage grouse recovery will not happen. Livestock remain the root cause of sagebrush loss, cheatgrass spread, and destructive fire cycles on our range lands. Granted, livestock damage was “historically” initiated, but mismanagement continues in spite of sage grouse planning and working group oversight. Compounding factors — agriculture, urbanization, hunting mortality, and energy production — serve as “scapegoats” but are a drop in the bucket compared to livestock impacts. If we don’t change what has caused the need for sage grouse conservation, nothing will be gained. America is a land where we do the right thing only after exhausting other options. This so aptly illustrates refusals to protect sage grouse. Without listing, the sage grouse’s “goose is cooked.”
Jim Prunty, Twin Falls
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