On Thursday Feb. 21, Governor Bullock issued an executive order creating a new board to help discover methods of protecting the sage grouse.

Natural resource policy adviser for Governor Bullock, Tim Baker says, "with the decline of the sage grouse, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has started looking at whether or not the species should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. The federal Bureau of Land Management has come to the state of Montana and asked us to provide our expertise in developing a comprehensive strategy for protecting sage grouse in Montana."

 Tim Baker:

The board will have eight to ten members and is expected to help preclude an endangered species listing for the sage grouse. If the board functions as expected, Baker says the technique may be used to keep animals like the wolverine under Montana jurisdiction as well.

According to the Governor's press release, the council is charged with "using the latest science to provide key recommendations for conserving the iconic birds and their habitat, identifying opportunities for conservation projects, and developing a long-term management framework to engage local landowners and working groups."

Those that make it to the board will likely bring experience from the following fields:

· agriculture and ranching

· conservation and sportsmen

· energy, mining and power transmission

· tribal government

· local government

· the legislature