Interior Secretary Calls Sage Grouse Conservation ‘Largest, Most Complex’ In U.S.

<p>(Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)</p>
<p>Pictured is a Greater Sage Grouse.</p>

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says the plan to protect the greater sage grouse is the "largest, most complex land-conservation effort" in the United States.

Jewell on Tuesday officially announced the federal government's decision not to list the bird as endangered or threatened. She says the decision stems from states, ranchers and the energy industry successfully working with the federal government to protect grouse habitat spanning 11 Western states.

“So there’s too many partners and individuals to recognize here because of the scope, scale and complexity of the state, the federal and the private actions because they are unequaled in the history of wildlife conservation in the US," Jewell said. "But to say it takes a village is a gross understatement.”

Jewell says that besides providing a brighter future for an "amazing, scrappy bird," the decision gives communities and landowners certainty about where development can proceed. She also says the plan will protect an entire landscape, benefiting other wildlife, ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts.