Greater Sage Grouse Plan Revealed
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has revealed plans to preserve habitat in 10 Western states for an imperiled ground-dwelling bird, the federal government's biggest land-planning effort to date for conservation of a single species.
The proposal announced Thursday would affect energy development. The regulations include locating oil and gas wells and power lines to avoid disrupting habitat for the greater sage grouse. The chicken-sized birds are found from California to the Dakotas, but their numbers have declined sharply in recent decades.
Some warn they're at risk of extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service faces a court-ordered deadline of Sept. 30 to decide whether the greater sage grouse needs protection as a threatened or endangered species. The new measures would apply to federal lands only. U.S. officials expect to adopt them by late summer.