AP NewsBreak: Feds won't provide protection for sage grouse subspecies in Nevada, California

Associated Press

The Interior Department will not order Endangered Species Act protection for a type of sage grouse found only in California and Nevada.

The move comes months before the federal agency decides whether other sage grouse in 11 Western states are threatened or endangered.

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Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to make the formal announcement about the bistate Mono Basin sage grouse on Tuesday in Reno.

Ted Koch, Nevada-California supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says the agency's 2013 proposal to declare the bistate grouse threatened is no longer needed because conservation easements with ranchers and other range improvements helped stabilize the population of the subspecies.

He tells The Associated Press that better monitoring has convinced government biologists that the bird no longer is at risk of extinction.