Battle over imperiled sage grouse draws to climax in U.S. West

File handout photo of a sage grouseBy Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) – A long-simmering debate in the American West over an imperiled ground-dwelling bird was headed for climax on Tuesday with the Obama administration expected to unveil a conservation plan lacking Endangered Species Act protections. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was due to appear with four Western state governors at a wildlife refuge in Colorado to present a final strategy for saving the greater sage grouse while allowing energy development, mining and ranching to co-exist with the chicken-sized prairie fowl. Whether the administration's approach finally quells the protracted dispute or prompts a new round of litigation will depend on the details.

September 22, 2015 12:46 pm

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