Animals

Interior head orders review of sage-grouse conservation plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is ordering a review of federal efforts to conserve the imperiled sage grouse to ensure that officials in 11 Western states where the bird lives are fully consulted.

Zinke says that while the federal government has a responsibility under the Endangered Species Act to protect the ground-dwelling bird, "we also have a responsibility to be a good neighbor and a good partner."

He says a directive that could "destroy local economies" or impose onerous regulations on public lands "is no way to be a good neighbor."

Zinke made the comments Wednesday as he announced a review of a 2015 conservation plan put in place by the Obama administration. The plan set land-use policies intended to keep the popular game bird off the endangered species list.


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