Conservationists are headed back to court to try to force the Trump administration to protect a rare game bird, as the government keeps changing its mind about whether to list the cousin of the greater sage grouse as threatened or endangered.
A previous article posted to this site, details how the Trump administration has been undermining federal legislation that protects animals. Under attack are both the Endangered Species Act, as well as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Three groups have filed formal notice of their intent to sue after the Fish and Wildlife Service reversed course in March and abandoned its 2018 proposal to list the bi-state grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
The hen-sized bird is similar but separate from the greater sage grouse, which lives in a dozen Western states. It is at the center of a dispute over the government’s efforts to roll back protections adopted under President Barack Obama.
In 2018, a U.S. judge in San Francisco found the agency had illegally denied protection to the bi-state grouse and ordered it to re-evaluate the bird’s status.
The bird was again proposed for protection, but in March the administration withdrew that proposal. The service said its latest review indicates the population has improved, thanks in large part to voluntary protection measures adopted by state agencies, local ranchers and other interested third parties.