Nevada Council Debates Next Move Regarding Sage Grouse

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada council hoping to prevent the listing of sage grouse as an endangered species is debating its next moves after federal agencies identified preferred alternatives to protect the bird found in 11 states across the West.

Some members of the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council on Monday said the alternative preferred by the Bureau of Land Management in a draft environmental impact statement is not much different than what the state proposed.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must decide by next fall whether the chicken-size bird warrants Endangered Species Act protection.

A public comment period on the draft environmental statement runs through Jan. 29. A final environmental statement is expected in June before a decision is made in late September on whether to list the bird.