- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) - The conflict between the sage grouse and western energy and ranching interests is the subject of a new documentary by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The film, “The Sagebrush Sea,” airs on public broadcasting’s “Nature” Wednesday evening. It shows the high desert habitat that spans parts of 11 western states in ground-level scenes that reveal the diversity of a region that looks barren to the casual observer.

Cornell Lab producer Marc Dantzker says he hopes the documentary will make people more willing to take a balanced approach to development and make conservation a priority.

Cinematographer Gerrit Vyn calls the sage grouse “an amazing national treasure.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service must decide by September whether to list the sage grouse as an endangered species.

Western states oppose the listing for fear of hurting development.

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