News, December 11th

SAGE GROUSE DISPUTE

GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – The agency that will decide whether the greater sage-grouse receives protection under the Endangered Species Act says a Bureau of Land Management proposal for protecting them in northwest Colorado falls short. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offered its opinion based on letters from the public commenting on the BLM’s draft document for management of greater sage-grouse territory in the region. Opponents including the oil and gas industry, area governments such as Garfield County, agriculture, recreation and other interests have argued for months that the measures the BLM is contemplating are overly restrictive and would cause significant economic harm.   Wildlife officials say sage grouse populations have fallen 90 percent in the past century and plans to protect the birds won’t get the job done.

IN OTHER COLORADO NEWS…

DENVER (AP) – Christian broadcaster and psycholgist Dr. James Dobson is suing the federal government over a requirement in the Affordable Care Act that his ministry must include the morning-after pill and other emergency contraception in its health insurance. Dobson’s federal lawsuit says the requirement violates the religious beliefs of his Colorado Springs-based ministry.

COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) – Authorities say a motorist who got into a fight with people whose car crashed near Florence is suspected of later running down and killing one of them. The State Patrol said today that 21-year-old Jesse Plouvier of Canon City is facing charges of vehicular homicide after the hit-and-run incident early Sunday.

COLORADO SPRINGS AP) – The first family to finish rebuilding their home after the Black Forest Fire is moving back to the burn area this week. Today marks the six-month anniversary of the start of the wildfire near Colorado Springs. It became the state’s most destructive, destroying nearly 500 houses and killing two people. The Gazette reports that work on dozens of other homes is continuing.

FORT COLLINS (AP) – Three northern Colorado towns tired of freight train horns blaring day and night are on a mission to change federal train safety policy so they can muffle warning blasts. Under pressure from Colorado’s two Democratic senators and the towns of Fort Collins, Loveland and Windsor, the Federal Railroad Administration has agreed to hold hearings next year on the train-horn rule.

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