In an attempt to keep the sage grouse off the endangered species list, conservation groups, private landowners, government agencies and corporations worked together, despite their differing interests.
“If you don’t get cooperation from landowners, you’re not gonna protect sage grouse, and I think the state has a lot better chance at working with all the partners than if it got a federal listing,” Ellis said.
...If the sage grouse were to receive an endangered species listing, the federal government would take over conservation efforts, and institute special protections. Ellis said federal agencies lack both the staff and funding for an effective conservation effort. Instead, she said a state run program will be more effective in bringing people together across the large swath of sage grouse territory in Montana.
“I think it’s the best outcome now,” Ellis said. “I won’t guarantee it will stay that way.”