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06SPECIES5-master675

NY Times

When the Obama administration announced last month that it would not add the greater sage grouse to the endangered species list, some conservation groups predictably criticized the ruling.

“It’s a sign that politics as usual has taken over the process,” said Erik Molvar of WildEarth Guardians, which had lobbied to protect the bird.

A more surprising development was that many other environmental organizations applauded the decision and the Interior Department’s proactive approach: With the threat of regulation under the Endangered Species Act hanging in the background, the department prodded states, federal agencies and private landowners to work together on a conservation plan that could make an endangered listing unnecessary.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who called the Endangered Species Act a “catalyst for conservation,” said that the strategy sought to balance economic interests with the needs of the beleaguered bird, whose numbers have been devastated by development, wildfires,invasive species like cheatgrass, and other threats. The amount of land involved — millions of acres of state, private and federally managed land across 10 Western states — makes the effort one of the largest voluntary conservation projects

nterior Secretary Sally Jewell, who called the Endangered Species Act a “catalyst for conservation,” said that the strategy sought to balance economic interests with the needs of the beleaguered bird, whose numbers have been devastated by development, wildfires,invasive species like cheatgrass, and other threats. The amount of land involved — millions of acres of state, private and federally managed land across 10 Western states — makes the effort one of the largest voluntary conservation projects

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