Groups ask judge to halt drilling, mining in 7 states

Groups ask judge to halt drilling, mining in 7 states

by By KEITH RIDLER , Associated Press22 April 2019 16:29-04:00

(AP) — Four conservation groups have asked a judge to block a Trump administration plan allowing drilling, mining and other activities in seven western states they say will harm sage grouse.

Western Watersheds Project and other groups asked for the injunction in U.S. District Court in Idaho late last week for Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California and Oregon.

The groups in March sued Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service over changes to land-management plans involving sage grouse.

The March action supplemented a 2016 lawsuit that said a 2015 federal plan inadequately protected sage grouse.

Millions of the chicken-sized bird that relies on sagebrush once roamed the West, but development, livestock grazing and wildfires have reduced the population to fewer than 500,000.

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