- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

DENVER (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking Indian tribes, government agencies and others to submit information about conservation efforts for the greater sage grouse.

The service said Monday it needs the best data possible to make a decision on whether the bird warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Congress has barred the federal government from spending money on rules to protect the bird, but the Fish and Wildlife Service says it is still bound by a court order to reach a decision by September on whether a listing is warranted.

If wildlife managers determine the bird is heading toward possible extinction, they would be unable to intervene because of the spending restriction.

Greater sage grouse range across 11 Western states and two Canadian provinces.

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