Group files new lawsuit over sage grouse

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ An environmental group has filed another
legal challenge over the federal government's decision not to give
the sage grouse protection under the Endangered Species Act.

In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ruled the sage
grouse warranted threatened or endangered status, but formal
listing under the law was precluded by other agency priorities.

Western Watersheds Project filed a lawsuit in U.S. District
Court in Boise Friday. The group's lawyers compare the decision to
putting the bird in the ``black hole'' of species denied protective
status.

It's a separate case from the legal challenge that forced the
agency to reconsider its 2005 decision not to grant the bird
protection.

Once abundant in the West the bird's population has declined due
to grazing, wildfires, energy development and other influences on
its habitat.


(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APNP-05-03-10 1447MDT<




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