A meeting this week in Fort Collins about the greater sage-grouse has been criticized by several western representatives.
An obscure, chicken-sized bird best known for its mating dance could help determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the U.S. Senate in November.
Colorado cattlemen say millions of dollars spent protecting the Gunnison sage grouse will be wasted if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service goes ahead with plans to protect the chicken-like bird as an endangered species.
The federal government is holding the first of several public meetings on plans for oil shale development on public lands that would keep activity off thousands of acres of environmentally sensitive areas in three Western states.