Sage Grouse Ruling Imminent – Will Affect Wyoming
RENO, Nev. (AP) — A federal judge in Nevada could rule any time now on a lawsuit filed nearly a year ago in an effort to block protections of the greater sage grouse across much of the West.
Nevada's attorney general and others filed their final briefs in Reno Wednesday challenging land-use planning amendments and a temporary freeze on new mining claims the government adopted to guide future management of lands with grouse habitat.
The two sides disagree about whether Judge Miranda Du has the authority at this time to strike the policies down.
Opponents claim she does. They say the directives are having a chilling effect on mining and energy exploration, as well as the ability of ranchers and entire county governments to plan for the future.
Government lawyers argue they can't be challenged because they offer guidelines but no site-specific decisions.