The future of the West may be written in feathers.

    When Congress and President Barack Obama approved the 2015 omnibus funding bill in the year-end rush to keep the federal government open, they may have issued the death warrant for the greater sage grouse.

    A rider in the bill, which had absolutely nothing to do with keeping the government running and everything to do with lawmakers paying back influential donors and constituents, prevents the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service from issuing rules to place sage grouse on the endangered species list. The agency was facing a court-ordered deadline of September 2015 to decide if the grouse would be placed on the endangered species list.

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