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.
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.