Regional Battles Over Greater Sage Grouse

Las Vegas, NV—The federal government’s plan to drill for oil and gas in a remote section of northeast Nevada may be challenged in court by conservationists who claim it will harm the habitat of the Greater Sage Grouse.  The Center for Biological Diversity is threatening a lawsuit if the plan gets the green light from the Bureau of Land Management.  Right now the BLM is taking public comments on the plans to lease eight parcels totaling about 16,000 acres west of Ely.

Boise, ID—Utah and Idaho are also home to the odd-looking, ground-dwelling bird but officials in both states say say energy development should move forward.  The two states filed documents in U.S. District Court defending President Trump’s aggressive plan to open up the region to mining as well as oil and gas drilling.  Leaders from both states decided to intervene after four conservation groups filed a lawsuit demanding that all drilling and mining be stopped in all western states where sage grouse can be found including Colorado, Wyoming, California and Oregon.  Idaho Governor Brad Little says preserving sage grouse is best done through collaboration.