Reid, Heller, Draft Sage Grouse Plan for Nevada

By  | 

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada's U.S. senators are orchestrating a bipartisan discussion on how best to protect sage grouse in the Silver State with the goal of staving off a listing by the federal government under the Endangered Species Act.

A "discussion draft" of a bill released Friday sets up a framework for legislation that among other things would provide millions of dollars for sage grouse habitat protection in Nevada while still allowing development on vast areas of public lands and designating other areas as off limits.

It's a delicate dance, trying to balance the fate of the chicken size game bird and the state's fragile economy.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is under court mandate to decide by September 2015 whether the bird found in 11 Western states needs federal protection.