National

Jul 6, 2014 4:35 PM by Associated Press

Bird known for mating dance may decide Senate fate

DENVER - An obscure, chicken-sized bird best known for its mating dance could help determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the U.S. Senate in November.

The federal government is considering listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species next year. Doing so could limit development, energy exploration, hunting and ranching on the 165 million acres of the bird's habitat across 11 Western states.

"This is the great landscape of America, when you travel west and see open spaces. This is all the stuff you grew up watching on television," said Randi Spivak of the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Arizona, one of the groups that sued to force grouse protection. "And that land has been drilled, subdivided."

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