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Sandoval Cites Progress With Feds Over Sage Grouse Rules

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

  Gov. Brian Sandoval says he and the U.S. Interior Secretary have resolved some significant issues that have lingered since the sage grouse was spared from the Endangered Species List. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

Sandoval met for more than an hour on Friday with Sally Jewell to hammer out some disagreements between state and federal officials about how to protect the bird's habitat.

Republicans, including Sen. Dean Heller, complained said the land use restrictions put in place instead of an endangered listing threaten economic development, mining and grazing.

Sandoval says the meeting was productive and Jewell promised more clarity on the land use plans by early next year.

"The Secretary has committed to clarifying those uncertainties in writing so that all Nevadans will know where they stand."

Meanwhile, a court is considering a preliminary injunction request by several counties and the state of Nevada against the new rules.

Sandoval says the lawsuit didn't help ongoing negotiations with federal officials, but says he and Jewell agreed not to let it get in the way of resolving disagreements.

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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