Sage grouse slow Kanye West's Wyoming building project

Sage grouse slow Kanye West's Wyoming building project


Rapper Kanye West sings along to one of his 80-person choral groups' songs during a Sunday Service hosted by West in the Pow Wow Gardens of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY on 23 Sunday, 2019. Photo by Braeden Roesler

An imperiled bird has slowed Kanye West's plans to construct a building on his ranch in Wyoming.

West seeks to build a large "meditation structure" on his ranch in the Cody area about 50 miles east of Yellowstone National Park.

Local officials recently denied the project after West made a last-minute change to include residential space.

Now there are concerns about state regulations to protect sage grouse -- brown, chicken-sized birds that spend most of their time on the ground. Sage grouse numbers have dwindled substantially over the past century and much of their habitat in Wyoming carries development restrictions.

Park County officials are uncertain whether the regulations apply to West's proposed development, the Cody Enterprise reports.

West's site is within key habitat for the birds, according to Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials and maps.

Such areas carry development restrictions between March and July.

Sage grouse

Sage grouse were proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act but were never listed. Instead, states have drawn up plans approved by the federal government to try to ensure the bird populations remain strong.

The meditation structure will have a ground-level roof with a large opening. State wildlife officials also have expressed concern animals might fall into a hole being used to build the structure and that birds could nest inside.

West bought property in the Cody area after encountering development restrictions in California.

Photos: Thousands join Kanye West for 'Sunday Service' in Cody, Wyo.


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