- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A new report by the Western Governors’ Association says Wyoming has spent $7.9 million on sage grouse conservation efforts since 2005.

The report inventories efforts by 11 Western states to protect the bird and its habitat.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1hwp373 ) the document comes out ahead of an expected 2015 ruling by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on whether to list sage grouse as an endangered species.

Such a listing could curtail energy development throughout the region. The governors point out in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell that many states have adopted voluntary strategies to avoid a listing.

The report notes Utah spent $8.8 million to improve sage grouse habitat last year alone.

Wyoming’s efforts include establishing eight regional teams that are implementing sage grouse conservation plans.

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