CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Gov. Brian Sandoval is stepping up Nevada's efforts to try to avoid a listing of greater sage grouse as an endangered species.
Sandoval last week issued an executive order establishing a greater sage grouse advisory committee. He charged the nine-person panel to recommend an action plan by July 31.
In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined sage grouse deserved federal protection, but other species were higher priorities. A recent legal settlement now gives the agency until 2015 to decide the bird's status.
Officials around the West fear such a listing could put the brakes on mining, ranching, energy and other economic development projects.
So states are trying to come up with their own plans to protect the bird and avoid a mandate from the federal government.
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