Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Rural Nevada mining counties lose battle to block federal sage grouse regulations

A lawsuit by two rural Nevada counties and two mining companies to block federal sage grouse regulations was denied on Tuesday in district court, Sandra Chereb reports for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du, who said "much of the alleged harms seem to be driven by confusion and uncertainties over . . . implementation" of the rules said the plaintiffs, which included Elko and Eureka counties, "failed to show the likelihood of irreparable harm if the rules imposed in September take effect." (Census map: Nevada counties)

The lawsuit, which "argued the rules would cause tens of millions of dollars in economic losses," was filed the day after the Department of Interior announced sage grouse would not be listed under the Endangered Species Act, Chereb writes. Critics "argued that the amended land use regulations adopted instead were just as onerous to rural economies. Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt and seven other counties later joined the suit but were not allowed to argue on the motion for a preliminary injunction. The case is expected to go to trial next year." (Read more)

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