Tuesday’s announcement that the federal government won't add the greater sage grouse to the endangered species list is being called a historic decision. That’s because the threat of listing spurred state governments, ranchers, the energy industry and environmentalists to come up alternative strategies to protect the bird. Those strategies are being praised by many, but not everyone.
For perspective on why the government’s sage grouse decision is such a big deal, we talked to University of Montana Law School Professor Martha Williams.
Williams has worked for federal land management agencies and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Williams teaches environmental, wildlife and public lands law at the Alexander Blewett III School of law at the University of Montana.