Greater sage grouse denied U.S. Endangered Species Act protection

File handout photo of a sage grouseBy Keith Coffman COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Reuters) – A long-simmering debate in the American West over the fate of a ground-dwelling bird reached a climax on Tuesday as the Obama administration denied Endangered Species Act protections to the greater sage grouse in favor of less rigid habitat conservation measures. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the need to list the charismatic bird as threatened or endangered was averted by the success of "unprecedented" collaboration among state and local governments, scientists, ranchers and other private interests over the last five years. "This is the largest, most complex land conservation effort in the history of the United States," Jewell told a news conference, joined by four Western governors and a host of top federal land managers, at a wildlife refuge in Colorado.

September 23, 2015 2:38 am

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