LAS VEGAS (AP) — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told Western governors that the federal government is trying to find a way to save the sage grouse without having to list the bird as an endangered species. .

Jewell, during the Western Governors' Association's winter meeting in Las Vegas, says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been working with environmentalists and officials in 11 Western states to find a solution to protect the species and its habitat without a formal listing.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Jewell's comments came during a luncheon speech Saturday at the meeting hosted by Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is association chairman. Sandoval and other governors object to listing the sage grouse, arguing it spares hundreds of thousands of acres from development and harms mining and ranching.