The state of Wyoming is moving to join federal agencies in defending a sage grouse management plan against a legal challenge from a coalition of environmental groups.
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead announced Thursday he’s directing the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office to intervene in a federal lawsuit environmental groups filed last month in Idaho.
The lawsuit seeks to force the Obama administration to impose more restrictions on oil and gas drilling, grazing and other activities blamed for the decline of greater sage grouse across the West.
The groups claim the conservation effort the government announced last fall has loopholes and won’t protect the bird from extinction.
But Mead says the lawsuit shows that the federal Endangered Species Act needs to be amended so successful conservation efforts are celebrated instead of challenged.