Unfortunately, this means they are planning to sue the government at the cost of a small fortune to taxpayers, to overturn the decision.
High Country News reported with a straight face that the Democratic administration bent over backwards to accommodate the energy sector, you know, like they always do, by declining to declare that the 500,000 population is on the brink of extinction.
Lining up for legal proceedings to overturn the decision are the Center for Biological Diversity, which has collected millions of dollars in legal fees from taxpayers from suing the government, as well as our old friends at WildEarth Guardians who tried to shut down the Colowyo mine, and Western Watersheds Project.
Shockingly, High Country News also confirmed what we’ve flat out accused these environmental groups of for years — it’s not about conserving the species, it’s to put ranches out of business and shut down energy development.
Ironically, though, the hardline groups are partly responsible for the decision they’ll be seeking to overturn. If it hadn’t been for the pressure of a deadline created by an environmental group’s lawsuit, it’s not likely that sage grouse conservation efforts would have ever been strengthened enough to circumvent a listing. Instead, things would have gone along as they did before the court-ordered deadline – some state-level planning, a few collaborative efforts, weak attempts at protecting sage grouse habitat on public land.
So there it is. If the states did not have enough time to implement plans to conserve the species, then it truly might have become endangered, and environmentalists would have won.