TWS Statement on “Not Warranted” Sage-Grouse Decision

Male greater sage-grouse

Image Credit: Alan Krakauer, licensed by cc 2.0

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced their “not warranted” decision for the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act on September 22, 2015. This decision represents the culmination of work conducted by hundreds of wildlife professionals – biologists, managers, data analysts, policy experts, and administrators – from across the spectrum of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organization partners, and industry leaders. This decision highlights the benefit strong partnerships, focused on conservation outcomes, can have for our natural resources.

The ongoing efforts of wildlife professionals, professional land managers, and private landowners through cooperative efforts like the Sage Grouse Initiative have created strong partnerships for conserving this species and its valuable sagebrush habitat, upon which hundreds of other species rely. The implementation and planned implementation of conservation plans by individual states, multi-state land use plans by federal agencies, and voluntary conservation actions and easements by private landowners has made it apparent to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that effective conservation efforts for the greater sage-grouse are underway.

The Wildlife Society supports the use of science in policy decision-making, and is pleased to see the integration of science, policy, and management efforts in the conservation of greater sage-grouse. We wish to acknowledge those who have used science-based information to set policies and make complex resource management decisions that result in the conservation of wildlife populations. The hundreds of wildlife professionals who spent countless hours working cooperatively on conservation for the greater sage-grouse deserve to be applauded for their hard and fruitful work.

The Wildlife Society hopes the success of the collaborative partnerships formed around greater sage-grouse conservation can continue to conserve the species and serve as a model for the conservation of other wildlife populations and their habitats in the future.