sunny.png
Wednesday March 3rd, 2021 1:12PM

Sage grouse review done, but scant time for Trump's changes

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration has completed a review of plans to ease protections for a struggling bird species in seven states in the U.S. West, but there's little time to put the relaxed rules for industry into action before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The ground-dwelling, chicken-sized greater sage grouse has been at the center of a long-running dispute over how much of the American West's expansive public lands should be developed.

A federal judge blocked the Trump administration in 2019 from its plans to relax rules on mining, drilling and grazing across millions of acres of land because of potential harm to the sage grouse.

After releasing an environmental study in November aimed at justifying the changes, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said in a notice Monday that they stand behind their plans.

But the ruling that blocked the changes is still in place. And with just eight days left before Biden's inauguration, environmentalists said the Trump administration's latest move won't change anything, barring a last-minute reversal by the court.

“It's a nothing burger. It's a parting shot on the way out the door," said Greta Anderson with Western Watershed Project, one of the group's involved in the legal case. “We don't expect the Biden administration to defend these terrible plans.”

Sage grouse once numbered in the millions but have seen their range that stretches across portions of 11 states diminished by oil and gas drilling, wildfires, grazing and other pressures.

The Obama administration, with Biden as vice president, adopted restrictions in 2015 meant to protect the best grouse habitat and keep the bird off the threatened and endangered species list.

Under Trump, the Interior Department in 2017 began to ease the restrictions on drilling, mining and other activities and adopted new land use plans for the seven states in 2019. Months later, the changes were blocked — and the Obama plans restored — by U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Boise, Idaho.

Bureau of Land Management officials did not reply to emailed questions about whether they will ask Winmill to lift his injunction.

The Trump administration changes would have affected public land in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and Oregon. Sage grouse territory in Montana, Washington and the Dakotas would not be affected.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Sage grouse review done, but scant time for Trump's changes
The Trump administration has completed a review of plans to ease protections for a struggling bird species in seven states in the U.S. West, but there’s little time to put them into action before President-elect Joe Biden takes office
2:24PM ( 3 minutes ago )
IRS gets more relief payments out after delays
The IRS said that after initial problems, it is getting more of the second round of relief payments to taxpayers
2:06PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Pandemic has imperiled plans to retrieve Titanic's radio
Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is threatening a company’s controversial plans to retrieve and exhibit the radio that broadcast distress calls from the sinking Titanic
1:55PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Another lawmaker positive after Capitol lockdown
A Democratic congressman from Illinois who was forced to go into lockdown during last week’s deadly siege at the Capitol has tested positive for COVID-19
1:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
EU regulator is considering Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
The European Medicines Agency says AstraZeneca and Oxford University have submitted an application for their COVID-19 vaccine to be licensed across the 27-nation European Union
12:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
GM charges up new unit to sell electric delivery vans, gear
General Motors is forming a new business unit to tap the market for delivery vehicles and equipment powered by electricity
12:15PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
IRS gets more relief payments out after delays
The IRS said that after initial problems, it is getting more of the second round of relief payments to taxpayers
2:06PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Pompeo cancels last trip abroad as concerns of violence grow
The State Department says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has canceled what would have been his final official trip abroad as concerns grow over potential violence at next week's presidential inauguration
2:04PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Pandemic has imperiled plans to retrieve Titanic's radio
Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is threatening a company’s controversial plans to retrieve and exhibit the radio that broadcast distress calls from the sinking Titanic
1:55PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Pompeo hits Iran for al-Qaida support on his way out
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing Iran of having secret ties with the al-Qaida network and he imposed sanctions on several senior Iranian officials
1:51PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Schumer calls for speedy confirmation of Biden Cabinet picks
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says the violent mob at the Capitol last week underscored the need for a swift confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s national security picks
1:48PM ( 39 minutes ago )