So heres some back story. "Sage grouse With the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ordered to decide whether to list the sage grouse as an endangered species by 2015, Western states have been working to establish their own management plans. 'If you think the wolf was a big issue for Montana, it’s a piker compared to sage grouse,' said Sen. Bradley Hamlett, D-Cascade, who sits on the council and the governor’s advisory committee. The governor has appointed a sage grouse advisory committee which has scheduled 10 meetings between now and October. The plan is to have a draft out in October with a final report recommended by late November. Gov. Steve Bullock would then have until early January to make any adjustments with a plan finalized by the end of January, said Jeff Hagener, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Council member Sen. John Brenden, R-Scobey, suggested that halting the state’s hunting season for sage grouse may satisfy concerns expressed by some of the state’s partners. Hagener noted that, scientifically, hunting hasn’t been seen as affecting the bird’s population, but the perception is that if oil and gas leasing may be disallowed in certain areas because the birds are few, then hunting shouldn’t be allowed."
Let's not let science get in the way of wildlife management, by any means.
"In their March 2010 listing decision, the USFWS concluded that the key threats to the continued survival of sage - grouse are 1) habitat loss, fragmentation, and modification and 2) inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, particularly in relation to energy and other development. The USFWS also evaluated the 'utilization' (e.g. hunting) of sage-grouse and concluded that 'the greater sage-grouse is not threatened by overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes now or in the foreseeable future' "
Greater Sage Grouse Conservation Strategy Page