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2019 was a big year for sage grouse news, but many in 2020 are keeping a watchful eye on the bird.

Camille Ericksom   Jan 5, 2020

Sage grouse gather around small holes to eat dirt in Feb 2015 near Pinedale. Some are still concerned about bird numbers diminishing Alan Roger, Star-Tribune

Raucous debate over how the state should respond to the declining age grouse population numbers once again stirred political action in Wyoming last year.

For one, Gov. Mark Gordon signed an executive order to amend the rules governing development in a and around 15 million acres of sage grouse core habitat.  The order upheld existing conservation strategies from a previous order but also added new data collection requirements and outlined guidelines for reclamation of disturbed habitat.

Wyoming's Sage-Grouse Implementation Team (a group of two dozen experts from some 20 different agencies) met several times to drum up extensive recommendations for the governor.

The Wyoming Legislature also had a hand in managing critical sage grouse habitat.  Lawmakers advanced a bill to session in November that could anoint the state with the authority to uphold its compensatory mitigation program.


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