Judge Cancels Oil and Gas Leases on Some Sage Grouse Lands
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has cancelled more than $125 million in oil and gas leases sold on public lands that are home to the declining bird species greater sage grouse.
The ruling doesn't stop drilling already underway in areas with sage grouse, but it could help protect the birds from future activity.
The judge said the Trump administration illegally curtailed public comment on the sales.
The leases included more than 1,300 square miles in Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.
The ruling Thursday was connected to a broader lawsuit challenging the administration's oil and gas leasing practices.
Sage grouse have suffered sharp declines because of development, disease, drought and wildfires.