ON-Lion Letter

In April, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced a decision not to list the bistate, Mono Basin sage grouse as threatened and thus in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Private, voluntary agreements and practices among ranchers to conserve land and other improvements in the bird's habitat have helped stabilize its population along the Sierra Nevada's eastern front.  Found only in California and Nevada, the bird is distinct from the greater sage grouse species.

"The threats are no longer of a magnitude that would require listing," Mary Grim, regional sage grouse coordinator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), told the Associated Press.

The Sand County Foundation (SCF) in Madison, Wis., has worked for years to promote collaborative, voluntary efforts to improve rare-species habitat and head off burdensome federal restrictions on working land.  The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports SCF.

The greater sage grouse species remains under consideration for listing under the ESA.  FWS has to announce its decision regarding the greater sage grouse by the end of September.

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