Tester encourages Secretary Jewell to work with Montanans to protect sage grouse

Senator: “Montanans know how best to manage our state’s wildlife”

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester met with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in his Washington office to encourage her department to keep working with Montanans to protect sage grouse habitat across Montana and avoid listing the animal on the Endangered Species list.

During the meeting, Tester highlighted the good work being done by folks on the ground and the State of Montana to protect sage grouse habitat.

“Montanans have proven time and again that they know how best to manage our state’s wildlife, and the sage grouse is no exception,” said Tester, a member of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. “I encouraged Secretary Jewell to keep working with Governor Bullock and folks on the ground to make sure we’re all pulling in the same direction to conserve habitat, support local economies, and preserve our western way of life.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to issue a ruling on whether the sage grouse warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act by the end of the month. Ranchers, sportsmen, the business community, industry stakeholders, and federal, state and local officials have coordinated on conservation efforts in 11 western states.

Tester and Jewell also discussed protection for the Badger-Two Medicine, an important cultural and recreational area for the Blackfeet tribe, sportsmen and women. In March, Tester urged Secretary Jewell to cancel all remaining oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine.