Officials in northwest Colorado say they hope changes to federal plans for dealing with an imperiled bird species will allow more energy development in their part of the state.
The U.S. Interior Department is reconsidering restrictions on mining, oil and gas drilling, grazing and other activities imposed by the Obama administration to protect greater sage grouse.
Moffat County Commissioner Don Cook told the Craig Press that the issue impacts about 40 percent of the county’s land area. He says there was little local input when the restrictions were adopted under Obama.
Sage grouse once ranged widely across the West but have seen their habitat shrink dramatically as the region develops.
Luke Schafer with Conservation Colorado says the changes announced by Interior could throw out years of work on sage grouse.