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Grouse Suit Seeks To Block New Fences On BLM Land In Nevada

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists are suing the Bureau of Land Management to block construction of fences in northern Nevada that they say are intended to appease livestock ranchers at the risk of harming sage grouse and the drought-stricken federal rangeland.

The Western Watersheds Project filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Reno last week on the heels of a broader one it filed last month challenging the Obama administration's overall protection plan for the greater sage grouse across 10 western states.

Leaders of the Idaho-based group say the fencing near key grouse habitat flies in the face of BLM's own research showing the low-flying, hen-sized birds often die when they strike fences. The fence posts also provide perches for ravens that prey on grouse nests.

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