Threatened bird leads feds to block some drilling

DENVER (AP) -- The federal government is declaring more than 400,000 acres in Colorado and Utah off-limits to energy exploration to protect a little-known bird.

The Gunnison sage grouse is related to the better-known greater sage grouse. The federal government is considering listing both birds as endangered species. That could prohibit development and agriculture in huge chunks of the West.

Of the two birds, the Gunnison sage grouse is far less common and its habitat is restricted to southwestern Colorado and a small chunk of Utah. The protections announced this week formalize what the federal government is doing to conserve that bird.

Western states are bracing for far more sweeping restrictions to protect the greater sage grouse if it's listed as endangered.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Top Stories

  • Joining the LOB
    It's never easy being the new guy, but Tharold Simon is already making his mark

  • Smartphone Safety
    Our phones entertain us, inform us and now might protect us

  • Pumpkin Assault
    Pumpkin-flavored items are coming to store shelves whether it's fall or not
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Listen to the show
Hear GeekWire on KIRO Radio
Join Todd Bishop and John Cook weekends on KIRO Radio to talk Seattle technology.

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.