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PNS Daily Newscast - August 12, 2020 


Former VP Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate; some schools have science-based metrics for open classroom instruction.


2020Talks - August 12, 2020 


California Sen. Kamala Harris will be on the ticket with Joe Biden in November. Four states had primaries yesterday, and two had runoffs. Georgia and Wisconsin appear to have improved since last time.

“The Bird is the Word” in Court in WYO

January 30, 2009

Laramie, WY – A Wyoming conservation group is going to court to protect declining populations of sage grouse in the Powder River Basin, an area of coalbed methane resources.

Wildlife biologist Erik Molvar with the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, which filed the lawsuit, says they're not against coalbed methane development; just concerned about the effects of what he calls the "all-at-once" approach cleared by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

"If the BLM would simply adopt a phased-development approach, in which only a small part of the landscape was under industrial development at any one time, then there would be plenty of habitat left for the sage grouse."

BLM spokespeople have defended the drilling, saying the areas affected will be rehabilitated and the drilling footprints will be kept as small as possible.

Molvar claims the BLM's own research shows that coalbed methane drilling displaces sage grouse and leads to lower populations; and yet, aggressive development was green-lighted for the Powder River Basin.

"So, it's a proven fact that the kind of development that we've been seeing up to this point is not compatible with maintaining sage grouse on the landscape."

An identical case brought before the courts for the Montana side of the Powder River Basin resulted in a court order for the BLM to go back to the drawing board for drilling plans, and consider phased-in development.

Nature photographer George Wuerthner has joined the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance in the lawsuit, which was filed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY