Protection of Endangered Bird Species could place limits on Wind Energy Development in U.S. West
Efforts to protect the Greater Sage-Grouse, an iconic endangered bird, could disrupt oil, natural gas and wind energy development in the U.S. West. The large ground bird is totally dependent on sage brush, and parts of Wyoming have been identified as "core" areas crucial to the bird's survival. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday issued guidelines to protect the bird which state officials and environmentalists say will preclude wind power development in about 20 percent of the state. This Wyoming guideline could be expanded to 10 other states where the bird is found. This does not mean that all energy projects in the region will be blocked, but it would add an additional regulatory hurdle for those that required federal approval or funds.