SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The federal government is being sued for opening up parts of the Rocky Mountains to oil shale development.
The Sierra Club and six other conservation groups filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Denver.
The groups say the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to consider how widespread development of public lands would harm rare desert plants and threatened species of wildlife.
The lawsuit says the government program violates the Endangered Species Act.
The federal government decided in November to open up parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming for oil shale development for legitimate efforts to squeeze oil out of hard rock.
Other groups joining the lawsuit are Grand Canyon Trust, Living Rivers, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Rocky Mountain Wild, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance.