Sometimes you can have your sage grouse and development, too. And sometimes you can't.
Utah wildlife officials are trying to come up with a plan that will save the threatened species in its Utah habitat. Or, more accurately, they want to save the grouse in sufficient numbers that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service won't designate them an endangered species. If that were to happen, the state would lose control of managing the birds, and more stringent restrictions on energy development would be imposed by the federal government.
So coming up with a workable plan is in the interest of both the sage grouse and energy developers. We're under no illusion that Gov. Gary Herbert has much love for the birds. That's evident from the fact the sage grouse in energy-rich Uinta Basin are mostly sacrificed under the draft plan Herbert is trying to sell to counties.