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Interior Department touts efforts to protect sage grouse

greater sage grouse,

DENVER (AP) — A broad effort to save the greater sage grouse across the West without resorting to the Endangered Species Act is making progress, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday. “There’s some really good work going on,” Jewell said during a visit to a national wildlife refuge outside Denver, where she announced a year ago that the rare bird ...

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US takes key step to implement sage grouse conservation plan

A Greater Sage Grouse seen flaunting its tail feathers. (Image: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr)

DENVER (AP) — Federal land managers have issued new guidelines that will help determine what restrictions are imposed on oil and gas drilling, livestock grazing and other activities in the West to protect the greater sage grouse. The guidelines released Thursday are part of a broader effort to save the distinctive bird without resorting to the Endangered Species Act, which ...

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Utah national monument proposal stirs fierce debate

Utah, cave drawings,

BLANDING, Utah (AP) — Laminated sheets of papers held in place by rocks rest inside ancient cliff dwellings nestled underneath a spectacular red rock overhang in southeastern Utah. “Don’t erase the traces of America’s past,” the signs read. “Please do not enter interior rooms.” The weathered signs and a similar warning at the trailhead are the only protections in place ...

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Utah crafting rules for spending on water, major pipeline

A high-speed camera captures a methanol drip, which has about half the viscosity of water. (Image: Andrew Magill via Flickr)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — State officials will lay out a plan later this year to scrutinize proposals for major water projects, including a controversial pipeline pulling water from Lake Powell, before dipping into millions lawmakers set aside for water this year, officials said Tuesday. Eric Millis, the director of Utah’s Division of Water Resources, told members of a state ...

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US finishes plan to protect Roan Plateau in western Colorado

energy taxes, Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Federal land managers have taken another step toward protecting most of western Colorado’s wild Roan Plateau from natural gas drilling, releasing a revised plan that puts many areas off-limits. The Bureau of Land Management said Tuesday the plan puts in place the provisions of a 2014 compromise among conservation groups and natural gas producer Bill Barrett Corp. ...

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Judge: US agency lacks authority to set rules on fracking

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge ruled Tuesday that federal regulators lack the authority to set rules for hydraulic fracturing, dealing another setback to the Obama administration’s efforts to tighten how fossil fuels are mined. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said the Bureau of Land Management can’t set the rules because Congress has not authorized it to do so. The ...

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