Wildllife managers want to focus on protecting sage grouse habitat for the birds’ 11-state range including Oregon. Habitat destruction is the biggest threat to the bird and intense wildfires in the West are not making it easier.
The U.S. Interior Department told governors at a meeting last week in Colorado, the sage-grouse could end up on the endangered species list if more isn’t done to protect forests. Bend Fire Captain Karl Findling is a former worker for the Bureau of Land Management. He says firefighters are noticing changes to wildfires themselves, and in weather patterns.