Groups seek drilling halt

June 30, 2008 2:57:30 PM PDT
Two conservation groups have asked the government to impose new restrictions on oil and gas development in the West to protect the greater sage grouse, a popular but declining game bird. The groups say without such restrictions, the chicken-sized grouse could end up on the endangered species list. That could shut down public hunting -- an outcome the groups say they want to avoid.

Last week, the groups filed a legal petition asking the Department of Interior to block drilling within two miles of grouse breeding areas.

The petition was submitted by the Idaho-based North American Grouse Partnership and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership in Washington, D.C.

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