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Alberta city, oil company apply to court to quash sage grouse protection order

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - A southern Alberta city and an oil company are asking the courts to quash a federal emergency order that protects the sage grouse.

The City of Medicine Hat and LGX Oil & Gas Inc. have filed an application in Federal Court seeking a judicial review of the order.

It asks the court to quash, alter or suspend the order for six months so the federal environment minister can consult with them.

The order was announced in early December and restricts oil production in areas near the sage grouse's habitat.

About 1,700 square kilometres of Crown land in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan are coming under a set of rules to protect the sage grouse, which is thought to be down to as few as 90 birds in those provinces.

The emergency protection order grew out of a 2012 court case brought by several environmental groups to force the federal government to live up to its Species At Risk legislation.

The Canadian Press

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