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US judge blocks Nevada grazing; sage grouse totals dwindling

Sage Grouse Livestock Grazing
Posted at 5:18 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 20:18:55-04

RENO (AP) — A federal judge has blocked a project in Nevada that would expand livestock grazing across 400 square miles of some of the highest priority sage-grouse habitat in the West.

The Interior Department appeals judge says the government deliberately misled the public by underestimating damage cattle could do to the land.

The ruling comes as scientists continue to document dramatic declines in greater sage-grouse numbers across 11 western states.

A new report issued Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey says the population has dropped 65% since 1986 and 37% since 2002.

If current trends continue, there's only a 50% chance most breeding grounds will be productive in 60 years.