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Environmentalists Sue Over Sage Grouse Proposal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Environmental groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to scrap a proposal to list a population of sage grouse found along the Nevada-California border as threatened.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco says the decision was arbitrary and came despite findings that some populations of the Bi-State Sage Grouse might soon be wiped out.

U.S. Fish and Wildife spokesman Scott Flaherty said he couldn't comment on pending litigation. The wildlife service has previously said voluntary conservation measures made the threatened species proposal unnecessary.

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Opponents had argued the listing could affect mining, ranching and other activities in a wide area. The bird's range encompasses parts of Lyon, Mineral, Esmeralda and Douglas counties in Nevada, and Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties in California.