sage grouse

New research shows hunting’s effect on sage grouse population is mixed

The sage grouse population fell so low during the 1990s that the chicken-sized species was considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Now, two researchers say that restrictions on hunting the sage grouse have a mixed record when it comes to the bird's numbers.

Interior’s sage grouse plan may affect western ranchers

In a move that unnerved many environmentalists, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke  announced last summer that the agency would be reviewing the federal conservation plan for sage grouse — a bird that matters at least as much to ranchers as it does to conservationists. In the West, sage grouse has become the symbol of an urgent effort to save the larger sagebrush ecosystem from disappearing to cropland, wildfires and invasive species.  

Greens worry over new sage grouse conservation plan

A new sage grouse conservation plan released by the Interior Department has ranchers and energy developers in the West cheering, while environmentalists worry about the endangered bird’s future.

Greater sage-grouse conservation plan under review

Under an order signed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the government will review 2015 sage grouse conservation plans, seeking closer coordination with state governments in conserving the greater sage-grouse and its habitat while allowing for economic growth through activities such as energy development. The Fish and Wildlife Service cited the conservation plans in deciding in 2015 not to list the grouse as a threatened or endangered species.

Monsanto to study sage brush restoration to mitigate mine project

The world's largest seed company, Monsanto, says it will research restoration of habitat for sage grouse on 320 acres of its corporate ranch in Idaho, reports Capital Press. The work would mitigate the impact of a Caldwell Canyon phosphate mine that Monsanto intends to open.

Out West, scientists fight invasive grass with soil bacteria

Backed by the Department of the Interior, scientists are experimenting with soil bacteria to kill off one of the West’s biggest botanical invaders: cheatgrass. After identifying which naturally-occurring soil bacteria are capable of killing cheatgrass in the spring, before it puts out seeds, researchers are conducting tests on plots in Idaho.