US pushes changes to Western land plans that judge blocked

(Jeannie Stafford / CC BY 2.0 )
(Jeannie Stafford / CC BY 2.0 )(KMVT)
Published: Feb. 23, 2020 at 9:24 AM PST
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U.S. Interior Department officials are seeking to bolster their case for easing restrictions on energy development, mining and grazing in seven Western states.

A federal judge in Idaho blocked the Trump administration plans last year over concerns that they could harm greater sage grouse, a ground-dwelling bird.

Assistant Interior Secretary Casey Hammond says a new set of environmental studies published Friday clarifies the steps the government will take to conserve sage grouse habitat.

The Interior Department opened a 45-day public comment period on the studies that cover millions of acres of public lands in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and California.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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