The U.S. Forest Service has released proposed changes in its sage grouse management plans.
The Forest Service said it made the changes after hearing concerns from states and land users. The agency manages the bird in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah.
According to the Forest Service, the changes allow for greater flexibility and local control of conservation and management actions, easing up on livestock grazing restrictions. It says the 2019 amendments would align state and federal conservation standards. And, it says the plan amendments will maintain the goal of preventing any net-loss to critical sage grouse habitat, but no longer require that every action increase conservation.
Those objecting to the 2015 plan claim it would impact economic growth and did not align with conservation plans laid out by the states.
The proposed changes are out for a 60-day public comment period. A final decision document is scheduled to be released this fall.