When the U.S. Department of the Interior announced proposed sage grouse management plans on federal lands across 10 western states last month, it was applauded by environmental groups as a pragmatic step toward protecting the bird. On the other side, some industry trade groups and conservative lawmakers lambasted the proposal as federal government overreach.
The Interior’s rules, if approved, would be a major development in the story of sage grouse conservation. They are modeled on state-led conservation efforts which have sprung up across the West over the last few years seeking to prevent a listing of the bird under the Endangered Species Act.
This video, featuring photography from Alex Milan Tracy and audio collected by Inside Energy’s Dan Boyce, profiles some of the local stakeholders trying to protect the bird while allowing for the region’s traditional industries.