The announcement to lift or alter habitat protections for the greater sage-grouse across 9 millions acres of Western land for drilling and mining is a blow to many conservationist.

Several states, agencies, and local ranchers had put together a conservation plan, after years and years of data collection and discussion. This announcement is scrapping away that plan.

Throughout my career as a wildlife conservationist photographer, I’ve tried to emphasize that we are part of nature and part of this world. I feel extreme sadness not only for the birds but also for us. We will be losing a big part of this world. And it’s solely because of us.

As my book author, Kathy Love, once said, we are just like any other species except for our ability to alter the resources we depend on. And with that ability comes great responsibility.