State panel weighs in on sage grouse options

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Updated: 2/05/2014 3:49 pm

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A state panel appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to try to head off federal protections for sage grouse asserts that a preferred course of action identified by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service contradicts those agencies' mandates to manage public lands for multiple-use.

The Sagebrush Ecosystem Council, in a Jan. 24 response to the federal government, also says a draft environment impact statement needs to address beneficial aspects of livestock grazing and predator control.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is under court mandate to decide by 2015 whether greater sage grouse found in 11 Western states needs protection under the Endangered Species Act.

States including Nevada have been trying to come up with their own plans to protect the bird and avoid a listing.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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