Group sues US for details about impact of grazing program

Published: Sep. 25, 2019 at 12:12 PM PDT
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An environmental group says the U.S. government is keeping details secret about a cattle grazing program in six Western states that could be harming habitat and endangered species.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Western Watersheds Project says the Interior Department is unlawfully withholding information from the public about a grazing initiative announced in 2017.

The group is asking a federal judge to force the government to release information about the program in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

The group says the program puts private ranchers in charge of grazing on public lands without regard for wildlife such as sage grouse and endangered salmon.

U.S. officials didn't immediately respond to an inquiry about the suit Wednesday from The Associated Press.

In announcing the program, then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said it would provide grazing permit holders an unprecedented level of flexibility.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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