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Answer To Saving The Sage Grouse Could Be In The Wind

In Gunnison, Colorado,  during the March to May mating season, a male Gunnison Sage Grouse displays his filoplumes (topknot), bulging air sac, white breasts and spiky tail feathers. (Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/ Getty Images)
In Gunnison, Colorado, during the March to May mating season, a male Gunnison Sage Grouse displays his filoplumes (topknot), bulging air sac, white breasts and spiky tail feathers. (Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/ Getty Images)

A chicken-sized game bird native to western sagebrush has become the focus of the biggest conservation project in U.S. history.

This week, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced management plans for the greater sage grouse across federal public lands in 10 Western states. It’s part of an effort to keep the bird off the endangered species list, one that has become a complex balancing act between saving critical ecosystems and protecting the region’s key industries.

Biologists list energy development as one of the primary threats to the sage grouse, and as Dan Boyce with Inside Energy reports, the biggest threat comes from a source thought of as one of the greenest: wind power.

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