Wyoming lawmakers pass on sage grouse hunting restrictions

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming lawmakers have defeated a bill that could have resulted in less hunting of an imperiled, ground-dwelling bird.

The Wyoming House voted 56-3 Friday not to introduce a bill that would have set up a preference-point system for sage grouse hunting licenses. Preference points typically make it more difficult for hunters to get a license.

Some environmentalists want the greater sage grouse listed as a federally protected species but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided in 2015 not to do that.

Rep. Roy Edwards of Gillette described his bill as a way to help sage grouse in a state where they’re still hunted.

Rep. Jim Allen of Lander says the bill would have amounted to a “tacit acknowledgement” Wyoming doesn’t have many sage grouse and that they need protecting.

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