A U.S. district court ruled today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly denied Endangered Species Act protections for the Mono Basin (also known as the “bi-state”) sage-grouse in 2015. This grouse, a genetically unique and isolated species, inhabits the Mono Basin on the California-Nevada border.
Mono Basin sage-grouse have been sliding toward extinction for years. Urban sprawl, habitat loss, livestock grazing, invasive species, range fires, mining, energy development, recreation, and climate change all threaten the bird.
In 2013, the Service proposed listing the Mono Basin sage-grouse as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, but reversed course in 2015 without adequate justification or explanation. The next step after today’s victory will be a court hearing to determine when the agency must reconsider federal protection for the grouse.
Read the press release.