U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell made a big announcement recently that should have hunters and other outdoorsmen very happy.
Because of an “unprecedented effort” by hunter conservation groups and state and federal agencies, the USFWS has decided NOT to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species.
Jewell called it a “truly a historic effort,” as “dozens of partners across eleven western states” came together in a cooperative effort to not only save the dwindling sage grouse, but to preserve and enhance the unique sagebrush habitat throughout its range.
This focus on habitat will also safeguard many other species, as well as enhance the economies of those western states where it is found.
The USFWS will not be listing the sage grouse as an endangered species in spite of demands by some environmental and anti-hunting groups. Defenders of Wildlife and WildEarth Guardians, two of Sportsmen’s Alliance “Dirty Dozen” worst anti-hunting organizations, expressed sharp criticism for the USFWS decision.
But the USFWS has dedicated a great deal of time and resources to studying and working with other concerned groups and state agencies to create an allied effort that should prove to be more effective and far reaching than the sometimes dubious endangered species designation.
This decision is great news for hunters too, not simply because it leaves the door open for outdoorsmen to hunt the sage grouse as population increases might justify, but also because it once again proves that the hunting community gladly assumes responsibility for wildlife conservation and management.
Hunting IS conservation.
This is the kind of hunting-as-conservation story that needs to be shared with everyone, both hunter and nonhunter alike. Get it out there. Our hunting rights need good stories like this.