The Western Producer has interviewed ranchers about the federal Protection Order for the greater sage grouse. This article, Protection order sparks fear among ranchers, shows some of the fears and misunderstanding out there.
[Rancher Hargrave] does not accept habitat loss as the primary reason the birds are disappearing. The greater threats to the birds are predators such as coyotes and hawks and diseases such as West Nile virus, she added.
Hargrave believes the federal government came under pressure and agreed to the emergency protection order when conservation groups, took the issue to court. A federal court judge ruled that government cannot ignore the critical habitat needs of species at risk.
So far, we have a commitment of millions of dollars to let the Calgary Zoo try captive breeding of the birds, and ranchers all over south-eastern Alberta and south-western Saskatchewan severely ticked off and feeling like the government and conservation groups never listen to them. […]
To be clear, the conservation community was as surprised as the ranchers have been over the approach that Environment Canada has taken. And most people concerned about the species are wondering why the lion’s share of the money seems to be going to a zoo for captive breeding.