BLM Issues Plans to Protect Sage Grouse

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The Bureau of Land Management has released draft management proposals to protect sage grouse in Nevada and a sliver of northeast California along the state line.

Six options for managing 17 million acres were released Friday and come as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers whether the bird found in 11 Western states needs protection under the Endangered Species Act. The service is under a court mandate to make a decision by 2015.

Alternatives explored in the 1,000-page document range from doing nothing to imposing tough restrictions on mining, grazing, vehicle travel and energy development.

Public comments are being accepted through Jan. 29.

Federal officials say various aspects of the different alternatives could be combined when a final recommendation is made next year.