The Obama administration’s decision Tuesday that the greater sage grouse does not require Endangered Species Act protections walks a fine line with its assertion that economic development and preservation can coexist across the bird's 11-state range, the AP reports. But critics from each side of the political spectrum quickly denounced the move, concentrating on new plans signed in conjunction with the decision that will guide the use of 67 million acres of public lands.
Industry representatives and some Republicans claim the plans would unnecessarily lock up land from drilling, mining and other uses. Wildlife advocates countered that loopholes in those plans still would allow drilling, further threatening the chicken-sized grouse. You can read a full report here from the Associated Press on the impact and reactions to the sage grouse decision.