In 2015 the Obama Administration hammered out a deal with leaders and land managers across the west that avoided listing the sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
It was a grand compromise that protected key sage-grouse habitat while allowing for continued access to sagebrush country for a diverse set of stakeholders — from ranchers to oil and gas to recreational users. There were pats on the back and photo ops with folks in cowboy hats next to folks in Patagonia.
And yet sage-grouse populations are still declining. Compromise may make us humans feel good, but does the sage-grouse have time for it?