Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV
'Jazz'

member station

KNPR

Report: Bird Needs 3-Mile Buffer From Drilling

BILLINGS, Mont. - A government study with significant implications for the U.S. energy industry says the breeding grounds of a struggling bird species need a 3-mile or larger buffer from oil and gas drilling, wind farms and solar projects.

Monday's finding from the U.S. Geological Survey comes as the Obama administration weighs greater protections for greater sage grouse.

The ground-dwelling bird ranges across 11 Western states. Its population dropped sharply in recent decades due to disease, pressure from the energy industry, wildfires and other factors.

State and federal officials are scrambling to come up with conservation measures to protect the bird ahead of a court-ordered September 2015 decision on protections.

A related bird, the Gunnison sage grouse of Utah and Colorado, received federal protection as a threatened species on Nov. 12.

Copyright 2015 KNPR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.knpr.org/.

Support comes from

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.