- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A northern Nevada rancher says a more trustful relationship between Western states and Washington helped avoid federal protections for the greater sage grouse that many argued would threaten industry.

At Tuesday’s announcement of the decision outside Denver, Colorado, Duane Coombs says he inherited his father’s distrust of the U.S. government but that cooperation between private landowners and federal officials to protect the bird has changed his mind.

He says his 11-year-old daughter grew up helping him tie markers on fences to keep sage grouse from flying into them and getting killed at his Smith Creek Ranch outside of Austin.

The Obama administration, affected states and outside groups have committed more than $750 million to saving the sage grouse without Endangered Species Act protections. The bird’s habitat spans 11 Western states



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