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GREEN RIVER — Protection of sagebrush habitat is one of the top priorities for a multistate and international effort to maintain sage grouse populations.

In November, representatives from 11 states and two Canadian provinces gathered to discuss ways to preserve sage grouse populations. A report generated at that meeting was recently released, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said.

The report identifies seven priority goals, including identification and protection of high-quality sagebrush habitat and stabilization of sagebrush habitat that's in decline.

Federal officials have rejected several petitions asking that sage grouse be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

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Across the West, more than 50 local "working groups" are working on sage grouse conservation. Eight such groups are operating in Wyoming.

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