RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Federal land managers have approved an oil and gas project involving hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in a portion of northeast Nevada identified by state wildlife officials as essential habitat for the imperiled greater sage grouse.
The Bureau of Land Management signed a decision record earlier this month on Noble Energy Inc.'s proposal to conduct oil and gas exploration drilling near Wells in Elko County.
Bureau officials say a study concluded there won't be a significant impact to the bird.
Nevada Department of Wildlife officials think the bird can be protected through restrictions imposed on the Houston-based company by the bureau, including limits on construction activities during the bird's mating season.
But the Center for Biological Diversity says the last thing sage grouse need is gas development in their habitat.
The species is being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act.