Action timeline

November 10, 2005 – The Center, Sagebrush Sea Campaign, Western Watersheds Project and Desert Survivors petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to recognize the Mono Basin area sage grouse as a distinct population segment and list the population as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

December 19, 2006 – The Service acknowledged that Mono Basin sage grouse were genetically distinct from other populations but improperly found that the petition did not sufficiently demonstrate that the species may be in danger of extinction. The Service refused to conduct a status review of whether or not to list the population.

August 23, 2007 – The Center and other petitioners filed suit against the Service challenging the 2006 decision.

February 26, 2008 – The Service agreed to voluntarily remand the 2006 decision and issue a new 90-day finding.

April 29, 2008 – The Service announced it would consider listing the Mono Basin sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act as a distinct population segment.

March 5, 2010 – The Service declared that the sage grouse warrants protection as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. At the same time, the agency announced it was putting off listing the species due to a lack of resources.

March 29, 2010 – The Center, Desert Survivors and the Western Watersheds Project filed notice of a lawsuit against the Service for unlawfully delaying protection of both the Mono Basin (bi-state) population of greater sage grouse and the greater sage grouse as a whole.

June 28, 2010 – The Center, Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians filed suit against the Fish and Wildlife Service for delaying Endangered Species Act protection for the greater sage grouse, as well as two distinct populations of the bird — the Mono Basin population and the Columbia Basin population (found in Washington).

September 2010 – Despite the greater sage grouse’s status as warranting Endangered Species Act protection, the state of Nevada opened an ill-advised hunting season for the bird in parts of eight counties.

July 12, 2011 – The Center reached a landmark agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service compelling the agency to move forward in the protection process for 757 species, including the Mono Basin sage grouse and greater sage grouse.

October 25, 2013 – As the result of our settlement, the Service proposed Endangered Species Act protection for the “bi-state” population of the greater sage grouse found in the Mono Basin of California and Nevada. The agency also proposed designating 1,868,017 acres of protected “critical habitat” to help the population, which had declined by up to 70 percent.

Greater sage grouse photo by Dave Menke, USFWS