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Republicans have put Merrick Garland in contempt; state legislators are missing people from working class jobs and FDA has advised for formulation of vaccine for new covid strain.

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House Republicans vote to hold AG Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. The Senate battles it out over federal protections for in vitro fertilization. North Dakota becomes the first state to impose an age cutoff to run for Congress.

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Rural America's job growth is up, but still hasn t recovered from the pandemic, about one in five rural Americans live in a town with a prison, rural women seeking birth control have a new option and dark skies beckon as summer arrives.

Montana's Sagebrush Sea: Under New Management

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015   

HELENA, Mont. - Scrubby, sagebrush landscapes on public lands in Montana and throughout the West are being seen in a new way, with the Bureau of Land Management unveiling plans on how those public lands will be treated.

More than half of all sagebrush lands have been lost, said Ken Rait, public lands director at The Pew Charitable Trusts, so the conservation components in the plans will keep habitat strong for big game and birds, keep them open for hunting and other recreation, and allow for development and grazing.

"The Records of Decision that the Bureau of Land Management have come out with are a significant step in bringing a responsible balance to development across the West and conservation of the sage-grouse," he said.

The plans are part of the reason the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided the greater sage-grouse would not be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Matt Holloran, chief scientist for Wildlife Management Research Support, said this is the largest conservation program ever undertaken by the BLM - but the plans aren't the end of the story.

"For this effort to succeed as it's been planned, I mean, all we have now are plans," he said, "and for the success to happen, the plans need to be implemented."

There are 98 separate plans covering 10 states, each one crafted based on local input.

Plan details are online at blm.gov.


Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.


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