Las Vegas, NV (AP)- Congressman Mark Amodei is slamming the Bureau of Land Management over its decision to pull 33 parcels from an upcoming oil and gas lease sale because of concerns about sage grouse habitat.
Amodei maintains that the biggest threat to the chicken-size bird being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act is wildfires, not energy or mining operations in the state.
But the BLM says any disturbance to sage grouse habitat poses a threat to the bird.
The agency reduced to 42 from 75 the number of oil and gas lease parcels that will be up for bid next week in Nevada.
Officials around the West fear wide-ranging economic consequences if sage grouse are listed as an endangered species.