Federal court kills wind project near Steens Mountain

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal court has killed a large wind energy project in southeast Oregon over concerns about a declining sage grouse population that needs the area to breed.

The U.S. District Court in Portland vacated plans for the project Tuesday, bringing an end to lengthy litigation over the proposal by Columbia Energy Partners.

The project proposal was for wind energy development on roughly 10,500 acres of private land in Harney County.

The transmission line’s right-of-way would have crossed public lands where sage grouse breed.

Environmental groups won a legal battle last year when a federal appeals court ruled the U.S. Bureau of Land Management hadn’t conducted any surveys to see if sage grouse were present during the winter at the site.

Tuesday’s court ruling flows from that legal victory last year.

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