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Biden administration considers protections for ground-dwelling sage-grouse in western U.S.

American Bird Conservancy

The Biden administration is considering new measures to protect a ground-dwelling bird species once found across much of the U.S. West.

The bird called the greater sage grouse suffered drastic declines in recent decades because of oil and gas drilling, grazing and other human pressures.

The announcement of a range-wide evaluation of the bird's habitat comes after the Trump administration tried to scale back conservation efforts adopted by federal agencies in 2015.

A court blocked the Trump-era changes. Industry groups have resisted curbs on drilling around sage grouse breeding areas. Some environmentalists insisted that the 2015 plans didn’t go far enough.