From the Associated Press:
Seven conservation groups have notified the Bureau of Land Management they plan to sue the agency.
The lawsuit is filed on the grounds that the Bureau of Land Management made more than 1,200 square miles available for potential oil shale and tar sands leasing in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
The conservation groups claimed in a formal lawsuit notice filed last week that the BLM violated the Endangered Species Act by not formally consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The notice was filed by the Grand Canyon Trust, Living Rivers, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Rocky Mountain Wild, the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Wednesday.
According to the notice, the BLM acknowledged the decision to allow oil shale and tar sands leasing could affect the Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, razorback sucker, Mexican spotted owl and other threatened or endangered species.
BLM spokesman Steven Hall said he hadn't seen the notice.
The BLM has previously indicated it does not consult with Fish and Wildlife until specific plans are in development.
The lawsuit notice comes as the BLM debates new rules for oil shale leasing. A public comment period on those proposed rules ended Tuesday, but BLM has said it will provide an extra 30 days for people to submit comments.
The conservation groups said Tuesday they want to see stronger oil shale leasing rules that better address health and environmental concerns.
Under the Endangered Species Act, the BLM has 60 days to address the concerns spelled out in the notice to avoid a lawsuit.