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Greater sage-grouse lawsuit

Oct 01, 2012 04:23 PM

Status: Victory

Ecojustice celebrates a landmark victory for endangered species after winning a case to identify the critical habitat of the prairie’s greater sage-grouse.

A federal court victory in the battle to protect sage-grouse prairie habitat sparked a breakthrough for endangered species across Canada.

 
On July 9, 2009, Ecojustice celebrated a landmark victory for endangered species after
winning a case to identify the critical habitat of the prairie’s greater sage-grouse. A federal court judge echoed the words environmentalists have been voicing for years: government cannot ignore the critical habitat needs of species at-risk.
 
The favourable ruling came not a moment too soon for the sage-grouse. Known for its spectacular mating dance, the endangered bird is under severe pressure from oil and gas developments and had been forecasted to disappear from Alberta within six years if its habitat is not better protected.
 
The federal court judge found that the federal government’s claim that no critical habitat could be identified for the bird was unreasonable. Not only have many of the breeding sites for sage-grouse (where males perform their famous ritual mating display) been known for decades, but studies had identified much of the key habitat that sage-grouse rely on for raising their young.
 
Attention now turns to ensuring appropriate protection of the critical habitat that has been identified.
 
Ecojustice staff:
Keith Ferguson
“This is the ruling we’ve been waiting for.”

- Keith Ferguson, staff lawyer
Susan Pinkus
 
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