USFS

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service has announced a new plan to protect the greater sage grouse from extinction, while hoping to prevent the bird from being added to the endangered species list.

The sage grouse population has dropped from 16 million birds to less than half a million, mainly due to lost sagebrush habitat. The bird's range spans 11 western states including Colorado.

"As land managers of two-thirds of greater sage grouse habitat, we have a responsibility to take action that ensures a bright future for wildlife and a thriving western economy," said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell at the announcement in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Permits to cut down a holiday tree on public land are up for sale again.  As KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports, some are available now.

The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service are selling $10 permits with a limit of two per household. Tree-cutting isn’t allowed in wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, or at developed campgrounds, but US Forest Service spokeswoman Barb Timock says the annual practice is aldo beneficial the environment.