Plan released to reduce massive wildfires in US West

By KEITH RIDLER

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. officials on Friday released an overarching plan for removing or changing vegetation over a huge swath of the U.S. West to stop devastating wildfires on land used for cattle ranching, recreation and habitat for imperiled sage grouse.

The plan released by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management aims to limit wildfires in a 350,000-square-mile area of mainly sagebrush habitat that includes parts of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah.

The plan, which cost about $2 million, originated during the Obama administration as officials sought to avoid listing sage grouse as protected under the Endangered Species Act, which could have severely limited mining, ranching and recreation.

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