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Sage Grouse bird may lose protections under Trump
The U.S. Interior Department on Thursday proposed easing Obama-era protections for a bird, the greater sage grouse, to boost oil drilling and mining across Western states, a win for energy companies but a setback for conservationists.
The Greater Sage Grouse may be in trouble.... The Trump administration plans to ROLL-BACK Obama-era protections for the bird in Western states, so that millions of acres can be OPENED UP for oil drilling and mining exploration.
(upsound Obama - "to protect a threatened species - the sage grouse) In 2015, under President Obama, the Interior Department sharply reduced oil and gas drilling in 10.7 million acres of habitat to protect the bird, which at the time, was close to being on the Endangered Species List….
But President Trump wants to reduce that protected area to just under 2 million acres… And OPEN UP about nine million acres in places like Utah and Colorado…for drilling and mining Trump's Interior Department says the proposals REFLECT the interests of Western States that host the chicken-sized praire fowl… Last year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ordered a review of the bird's protections to (quote) "ensure conservation efforts DO NOT impede local economic opportunities" Sage grouse eat and inhabit sagebrush, which is where their name comes from.
They're believed to number up to half a million in 11 Western states and southern Alberta in Canada.