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Sage Lessons

from Sage-Grouse Conservation

BY SHAUNA LEAVITT

When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided not to list the greater sage-grouse for protection under the Endangered Species Act in 2015, Terry Messmer, Utah State University Extension wildlife specialist and director of the Berryman Institute was surprisingly good with that decision. It marked the end of a 10-year battle in which those who opposed each other put aside differences and began to work together through voluntary, incentive-based conservation. That is what Messmer had been working towards for more than 20 years. He knew those who live in communities that comprise sage-grouse habitat were the ones who had the most at stake in the ultimate conservation of these birds. He knew that if it is not good for the community, it is not good for wildlife. Messmer entered unchartered waters in 1996 when he drove to Dove Creek, Colorado, to attend the first of what now numbers in the hundreds of community meet8 UTAHSTATE I SUMMER 2017

Utah State magazine Summer 2017  

The quarterly magazine for friends and alumni of Utah State University

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