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The greater sage grouse is the largest grouse species in North America. Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Feds Move to Slash Sage Grouse Protections For More Oil & Gas Development

The Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management published proposals on Thursday designed to roll back critical measures that protect the imperiled greater sage grouse on public lands in order to boost fossil fuel development and mining in the American West.

The spectacular bird once numbered 16 million and roamed across 13 Western U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. But rampant oil and gas development and other factors have cut its habitat in half. Its population has significantly plunged to an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 individuals across 11 western states and southern Alberta.

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Sage grouse fight over territory on the lek during a spring mating season at Mill Creek Ranch in Gunnison, CO. Noppadol Paothong Photography

Much to Grouse About: Interior Department Calls for Changes That Could Threaten Sage Grouse Protection

By Charise Johnson

That the current administration places very little value on the merit of robust scientific evidence when considering its actions (or inactions) is no longer shocking, but it remains an intolerable practice.

In this week's episode of "How is the Trump Administration Dismantling Science-Based Protections?" we visit the Interior Department's decision to formally reconsider a widely heralded Obama-era agreement for protections of the greater sage grouse in the West.

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