Political News

Feds to give states more flexibility in protecting wild bird

Posted August 8

FILE - In this July 25, 2005 file photo, a sage grouse is seen near Fallon, Nev. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says a new federal plan to protect the threatened sage grouse will better align with conservation efforts in 11 Western states where the bird lives. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison, File)

— The Interior Department has unveiled a plan to protect the threatened sage grouse that gives Western states greater flexibility to allow mining, logging and other economic development where it now is prohibited.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (ZIN'-kee) announced the strategy Monday for the ground-dwelling bird that has suffered a dramatic population decline across its 11-state range. Zinke insists that the federal government and the states can work together to protect the sage grouse and its habitat while not slowing economic growth and job creation.

States affected by the plan are California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

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