LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — A coalition of conservation groups has recommended that the state of Wyoming strengthen its habitat and disturbance protections for sage grouse.

The groups submitted comments to the state outlining specific areas where protections necessary for long-term sage-grouse persistence are inadequate or absent.

Their concerns include the buffer zones around sage grouse leks in areas of oil and gas development. The groups say the buffer zones should be much greater than the state allows.

The groups include the Western Watersheds Project, American Bird Conservancy, WildEarth Guardians and Bighorn Audubon.

The comment period for recommendations on the Wyoming sage-grouse plan ends next Wednesday.

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