Species Road to Recovery

Species Road to Recovery

Gunnison sage grouse (via Western State College of Colorado)

Thousands of birds, wildlife, fish and plant species — including the Gunnison sage grouse and dunes sagebrush lizard — will be considered for protection through the Endangered Species Act over the next few years, but energy companies, and developers are hoping to avoid federal restrictions through voluntary plans. I cover the efforts and battles over species recovery for High Country News in its May 28, 2012 issue.

My story, “Conservation agreements try to head off endangered species listings,” looks at how the voluntary initiatives measure up to typical federal recovery plans, and whether the new efforts are getting the benefit of the doubt for proposed measures with questionable prospects. Shortly after this story ran, the government announced that the sagebrush lizard, which lives in Texas and New Mexico, would not get endangered-species status based on the voluntary agreements.


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