Interior Department To Overhaul Sage Grouse Conservation Plans
The sage grouse is back in the national discussion. The Department of Interior is loosening rules that protect the western, chicken-sized bird; recommendations include giving states more leniency in enforcing the rules and easing restrictions on land development. The two-year old conservation plan helped the sage grouse avoid an endangered listing under the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Many environmentalists are concerned the changes could spell doom for the vulnerable species.