CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The federal government has reopened the public comment period on its proposal to list a distinct species of sage grouse found along the Nevada-California line as threatened.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday comments will be accepted through June 7. The extension also adds 60 days to comment on a proposal to designate 1.8 million acres as critical species habitat.
Additionally, agency officials say a final determination on whether the bird deserves protection under the Endangered Species Act will be pushed back six months, to April 2015.
Public hearings on the proposals will be held April 29 in Minden and April 30 in Bishop, Calif.
A separate process is underway to determine whether the entire sage grouse population found in 11 Western states should be federally protected.