Mining ban considered to protect bird species in US West
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration says it is considering a ban on new mining on large expanses of public lands in Western states to protect a struggling bird species, the greater sage grouse.
The Interior Department review announced Tuesday will cover millions of acres of land and comes in response to a February court order.
A temporary ban on mining was imposed under former President Barack Obama but dropped by the Trump administration.
The affected lands were in Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
The wide-ranging, chicken-sized sage grouse has lost territory to human development and wildfires, and its population plummeted in recent decades.