Montana will relocate some local sage grouse to Alberta in an effort to improve the population in both jurisdictions . . .
Montana will send dozens of sage grouse to the Canadian province of Alberta in a plan approved Thursday that faces opposition from some lawmakers who say the state should first look to bolster its own fragile population of the bird.
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 3-1 to relocate 40 greater sage grouse hens this year across the border to Alberta, where an estimated 100 to 120 of the birds are left. The sage grouse in Alberta and Montana make up a transboundary population, and the program should result in healthier numbers on both sides of the border, officials said.
“We have worked hard with Alberta to get this to fruition,” Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission Chairman Dan Vermillion said. “It seems to be working up there, and Montana has a lot to benefit.”