WASHINGTON (AP) - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says a new federal plan to protect the threatened sage grouse will grant more flexibility to the 11 Western states where the bird lives.
Zinke says the federal government and the states can work together to protect the sage grouse and its habitat while not slowing economic growth.
Zinke announced the new conservation plan Monday. He ordered a review in June of a 2015 plan put in place by the Obama administration. The plan set land-use policies across the bird's 11-state range intended to keep it off the federal endangered species list.
Mining companies, ranchers and officials in some Western states said the Obama-era plan would impede oil and gas drilling.
Environmental groups say more steps are needed to protect the sage grouse from extinction.