Trump plans would ease protections for sage grouse in West

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Trump administration announced plans that ease protections for sage grouse in the West, prompting an outcry by critics who say the move paves the way for widespread mining and drilling and ignores a federal court ruling.

U.S. officials plan to publish the plans Friday in the Federal Register as part of a process that could allow the plans to take effect shortly before Trump leaves office.

The ground-dwelling greater sage grouse is at the center of a bitter conflict between the administration and conservationists involving how much of the West’s public lands should be opened to development.

The six plans cover Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada/northeastern California, and Oregon.

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