Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday ordered state agencies to take steps to protect the shrinking population of greater sage grouse in hopes of avoiding a listing under the federal Endangered Species Act, which would trigger tougher conservation rules.
Federal officials have announced more than $4 million in projects in four states as part of a wildfire-fighting strategy but the efforts could hurt training operations at numerous U.S. military facilities in the West.
The government is preparing insufficient protections for a ground-dwelling bird that has declined significantly over the past century and soon will face a possible endangered species listing.
Two environmentalist groups filed suit Tuesday seeking stronger protection for a bird found only in Colorado and Utah, reaching that legal step ahead of state and local government officials who counter the federal government already has gone too far.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking Indian tribes, government agencies and others to submit information about conservation efforts for the greater sage grouse.
A government study with significant implications for the U.S. energy industry says the breeding grounds of a struggling bird species need a 3-mile or larger buffer from oil and gas drilling, wind farms and solar projects.
Two environmental groups plan to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to list the Gunnison sage grouse as a threatened species instead of giving it the more protective endangered status.
Federal officials granted protection to the Gunnison sage grouse on Wednesday, a move that could bring restrictions on oil and gas drilling and other activity to preserve the bird’s habitat in parts of Colorado and Utah.
Colorado is seeking a delay in a decision by federal officials on whether to protect the Gunnison sage grouse, saying voluntary measures could help save the bird.
A meeting this week in Fort Collins about the greater sage-grouse has been criticized by several western representatives.