BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho and Utah are seeking to intervene on the side of the federal government after four conservation groups asked a judge to immediately halt drilling, mining and other activities to protect sage grouse habitat in seven Western states.

The two states filed documents in U.S. District Court late last week seeking to defend a plan put forward by President Donald Trump earlier this year.

The conservation groups in a lawsuit filed in March say the plan weakens an earlier version put forward by the Barack Obama administration in 2015.

The conservation groups early last week asked a judge to block the Trump administration plan altogether in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California and Oregon.

Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little says preserving sage grouse is best accomplished with a collaborative process.

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