There may be some bright spots in the sage grouse situation . . .
Cattle and greater sage grouse seem to be getting along just fine in southeastern Montana, according to a recent Fish Wildlife and Parks study, and that’s a big deal.
As sage grouse have been listed as a species worthy of protection under the Endangered Species Act, but precluded by higher priorities for now, western farmers and ranchers have been concerned about what the implications of such a decision might mean to the way they use the land.
“They’re real worried that if that bird gets listed, the federal government will come in and tell them how to manage that ground,” said Melissa Foster, an FWP biologist who was the lead author of a four-year study in Powder and Carter counties.