Wyoming Draft Sage Grouse Plan Released

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(Photo courtesy of the Wyoming G&F)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service favor a middle path among the options they're considering for protecting sage grouse habitat in Wyoming. The two agencies released a draft plan Friday for maintaining and increasing sage grouse habitat on BLM and Forest Service land around Wyoming.

Two alternatives within the plan would allow no more than 3 percent of surface disturbance for every square mile of sage grouse habitat. Another option would allow 9 percent. The Forest Service and BLM favor one that would cap disturbance at 5 percent. The agencies expect to release a final plan in late 2014. The plan will help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as it faces a late-2015 deadline to decide whether to list sage grouse as threatened or endangered.