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BLM Introduce Protections for Sage Grouse in Oregon

Benito Baeza

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has proposed a range of protections for the greater sage grouse across 10 million acres of federal lands in Eastern Oregon. The draft environmental impact statement issued Friday is part of a larger effort to decide whether the bird needs Endangered Species Act protection in 11 western states.

The preferred alternative would allow some development of roads, pipelines and electrical lines through areas occupied by sage grouse, and require that when grazing permits are renewed, the land be analyzed for how well suited it is to sage grouse.

Eric Molvar, a wildlife biologist with the conservation group Wildearth Guardians, says the preferred alternative represents business as usual, and does not protect the bird from one of the chief threats — overgrazing.

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