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SPOTLIGHT

1. ENDANGERED SPECIES:

Interior proposes rule allowing limited take of lesser prairie chicken

The Interior Department today proposed a limited exemption to Endangered Species Act protections for a small grouse that roams the southern Great Plains, a move aimed at strengthening habitat protections but which drew fire from one conservation group. The proposed special rule would allow take of lesser prairie chickens as long as it is incidental to activities under a conservation plan that the Fish and Wildlife Service has determined will provide a net benefit to the bird.

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