Ecojustice Blog – Nature Posted on September 18, 2013 (updated: February 17, 2015)

BREAKING NEWS: Things are looking up for Canada’s endangered Greater sage-grouse

Melissa GorrieLawyer

It took nearly two years of legal wrangling, but it looks like the federal government is finally prepared to introduce emergency protections for Canada’s endangered Greater sage-grouse.

The announcement, made yesterday morning, is a welcome breath of fresh air to a case that’s been mired in secrecy, delays and procedural roadblocks. In fact, our efforts may well have helped set another important legal precedent. To our knowledge, this is the first time Ottawa has explicitly stated its intention to introduce emergency protections for an endangered species.

Thank you. None of this would have been possible without you.

Thanks to your support, we were able to bring forward a series of legal challenges that have forced the federal government to act. But as I told CBC’s The National in a piece that aired last night, we know all too well that the devil will be in the details and that our work is far from done.

We’re still waiting to learn when the emergency order will be implemented and what it will include.

We’ll be looking for specific language around one of the biggest threats to the sage-grouse’s recovery and survival: Oil and gas development in its critical habitat. For the sage-grouse — known for its quirky mating dance — speedy action on this front could mean the difference between life and death. Scientists say that without immediate, meaningful protection these iconic prairie birds will disappear from Canada within the next decade.

We can’t let that happen.

Yesterday’s announcement is proof that Ecojustice’s unique legal approach has a big impact. And as our work to protect the sage-grouse continues, we’ll be counting on your support more than ever.

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