“A new poll conducted by Tulchin Research for Defenders of Wildlife found that the majority of voters in western states want to see sage-grouse protected, even if that means listing the bird under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Add to that one New Jerseyan. I didn’t know what a sage-grouse was before I began working for Defenders of Wildlife. Now I consider myself, like the majority of westerners, an advocate for their protection.
“Sage-grouse are a special bird. They have a long and storied history in our country and are an iconic ambassador of a quintessentially western landscape, the Sagebrush Sea. Today, greater sage-grouse range has been reduced by nearly half and populations have declined by up to 90 percent.”
GR: Beautiful birds. In the western U. S., saving any part of nature is a struggle. During the past century of human occupation, the sagebrush landscape has taken a severe beating. Invasive plants and relentless livestock grazing have destroyed much of the original vegetation. Saving the sage-grouse is a battle that, if it is won, will save some of the native plants and animals that create the magnetic charm of the sagebrush sea’s quiet solitude.