TELLURIDE, Colo. — A Colorado county and three environmental groups have sued the federal government, saying the sale of nine oil and gas leases on public land in southwestern Colorado could harm the threatened Gunnison sage grouse.

The lawsuit filed in Denver federal court Tuesday says the federal Bureau of Land Management didn’t consult with wildlife managers and didn’t conduct required reviews before selling leases in March.

The lawsuit asks a judge to invalidate the leases.

Agency spokesman Jayson Barangan said officials hadn’t seen the lawsuit and couldn’t comment.

The Gunnison sage grouse was protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2014. Only about 5,000 remain, all in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah.

The suit was filed by the San Miguel County commissioners, Rocky Mountain Wild, San Juan Citizens Alliance and Conservation Colorado.


This story has been corrected to show the spokesman’s first name is Jayson, not Jason.