Deseret News Archives
A male greater sage grouse struts at a lek near Henefer, Utah Sunday, April 16, 2006.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming's congressional delegation but not the state's governor say they support a legislative effort to block federal protection of the greater sage grouse for at least six years.

Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso are co-sponsoring a bill from Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. Rep. Cynthia Lummis is co-sponsoring a similar bill by Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service faces a Sept. 30 court-ordered deadline to decide if the ground-dwelling birds inhabiting 11 Western states need protection as a threatened or endangered species.

The bills would keep sage grouse under state control regardless of that decision.

Wyoming is home to more sage grouse than any other state. Gov. Matt Mead says Wyoming has an effective sage-grouse protection plan and the birds don't need federal protection.