When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently made a major announcement about its decision not to list the Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act, Audubon’s Brian Rutledge was the only representative from a national conservation organization on the stage with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. That’s because Brian pioneered the win-win formula that will lock in new protective management plans on 60 million acres of public land across the West. That decision is a vivid example of Audubon’s role as a centrist, solutions-oriented conservation organization.
For 10 years Audubon has been taking the difficult path—generating and defending credible science and securing real cooperation from industry and ranchers and the widest range of partners. As a result of unprecedented collaboration between conservation groups, industry, ranchers, state governments, and federal agencies, the sage-grouse now has more hope for the future than it has had in decades.
The vision and tenacity of our Audubon Rockies and DC policy teams, along with the passion and commitment of the entire Audubon network, have helped drive this success. And so has the Endangered Species Act: It got diverse stakeholders to gather at the table, come together around their love for these Western lands and wildlife, and hammer out solutions that are good for birds and for local and state economies.
Of course, now all of these stakeholders have to fulfill their commitments in order to make today’s decision stick, and Audubon will continue to play a central, pivotal role in ensuring this plan’s future success.
Thank you for all you do for Audubon and what you enable us to do for birds and for millions of acres of their habitat.
To learn more about how Audubon is protecting this iconic species and the iconic landscapes it depends on, go to audubon.org/sage-grouse.