Hoeven Statement on the Interior Department's Decision Not to Designate the Sage Grouse as an Endangered Species

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to the Interior Department’s announcement that it will not list the greater sage grouse an endangered species:

“The Interior Department’s finding that the greater sage grouse does not warrant a designation as an endangered species is the right decision. State and local governments know and value their natural resources and have effectively responded to a reduction in sage grouse numbers by creating tailored management plans to balance conservation, ranching, energy and other development needs.

“Last year, we worked in Congress to delay an endangered species listing of the sage grouse to give North Dakota and 10 other western states time to come up with workable management plans. I also worked this year on the Appropriations Committee to include a provision in the Interior EPA Appropriations bill that prohibited listing the sage grouse as an endangered species, giving states time to develop their plans. In addition, we brought Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to Dickinson this spring and urged him to support the sage grouse management plans developed by North Dakota and other western states.

“The North Dakota Game and Fish Department finalized its management plan with input from the public and relevant stakeholders, last March, and it is now effectively in place. The plan sets management objectives, enhances sagebrush prairie habitats, supports sage-grouse population growth, encourages public-private partnerships and allows for a variety of human uses.

“The right approach to managing the sage grouse is to empower states. We can successfully conserve historic habitat and wildlife, while also encouraging economic growth and job creation in western states.”