CARSON CITY, Nevada — Divisions in Nevada's approach to sage grouse have resurfaced in the state's attempt to keep the bird off the list of endangered species and avoid economic consequences for ranching, mining and alternative energy development.
A recent dustup on a nine-member council appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to plot Nevada's course reflects the struggles of building consensus.
The director of Nevada's wildlife agency was chastised when he submitted the state agency's response to the Fish and Wildlife Service on alternatives to protect the bird without the council's approval.
The council's chairman who is a rancher took umbrage over the department's suggestion to consider limiting grazing in sage grouse habitat.
But a conservationist countered that state biologists need to speak freely about sage grouse needs and questioned the chairman's leadership.