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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.

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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