BLM plan for sage-grouse habitat in Nevada challenged
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A conservation group is asking a federal judge to set aside federal land managers' plans to remove sagebrush, pinion pines and junipers across a large swath of public lands in eastern Nevada.
The Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project contends the Bureau of Land Management's plans to mow, chop, burn and poison sagebrush in Cave and Lake valleys south of Ely will harm habitat for imperiled sage grouse and other wildlife.
The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho, last month because it's a companion to a bigger lawsuit challenging the BLM's management plans for 16 separate areas across the West.
BLM spokeswoman JoLynn Worley says the agency has a policy of not commenting on lawsuits.
BLM officials have said their watershed restoration plan for the two valleys is designed to reduce the potential for major wildfires and to improve habitat for sage grouse and other wildlife species over the long term.