Laws Protecting the Sage Grouse in Alberta as Compared to Saskatchewan and the United States
by Sara L. Jaremko, March 2019
79 pp. Occasional Paper #69. $20.00 (softcover)
The Greater Sage-Grouse (centrocercus urophasianus urophasianus) [the “sage grouse”] is an endangered, iconic animal native to the north American prairies, whose survival is interrelated with the conservation of its habitat. Sage grouse have been early subjects of species at risk legislation, a relatively new and controversial field, and were subjects of Canada’s first Emergency Protection Order [EO] for species at risk. Sage grouse are considered endangered under federal and provincial legislation in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and considered for protection under federal United States legislation. The EO is credited with a small recovery in sage grouse populations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, meanwhile, stakeholder pressures facing this habitat continue, and litigation challenging the EO is underway.
This paper will review Canada’s history of sage grouse protection. It will review and compare the federal and provincial legislation and policy governing sage grouse protection, as well as the 2013 Emergency Order and related litigation. It will review sage grouse protection in the US. It will then critically discuss the respective regimes, along with the emerging trends in the field being: strategic prioritization, multi-species recovery planning, and voluntary and incentivized collaborative efforts.