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Wyoming Game and Fish, Chesapeake Cooperate On Grouse

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been working with a petroleum company to develop a plan to guide oil drilling in a vast area of designated sage grouse habitat in east-central Wyoming.

A representative of Chesapeake Energy and Bob Budd with the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust will present the proposal in Cheyenne on Wednesday. Budd says the plan will concentrate drilling in already disturbed areas while protecting habitat that is more pristine.

Sage grouse are chicken-sized birds in steep decline over the past century. Wyoming officials want to avoid an endangered species listing for sage grouse, as that could impede development.

Federal officials praise Wyoming’s strategy of setting aside core areas for grouse. Others say Wyoming officials are too willing to allow drilling in the core areas.

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