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October 22, 2014

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Western states worry decision on bird’s fate could cost billions in development

Image

Nevada Division of Wildlife, Kim Toulouse, / AP

A male sage grouse, left, struts with two other males during mating season in April 2000 in northern Nevada.

In the frozen chill of a high-desert morning, Tony Wasley, the director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, peers through a range finder down a dirt path and points out a group of birds strutting and preening among a low scrub brush. It’s mating season for the sage grouse, and dozens of males are descending upon breeding grounds, called leks, to show off their plumage to the hens.

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