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PORTLAND -- Conservation groups are suing the federal government to block development of a major wind farm on Steens Mountain in Eastern Oregon.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management over its approval of a transmission line across federal lands that will serve the Echanis wind farm planned for private land on the mountain.

Brent Fenty of the Oregon Natural Desert Association said renewable energy is important, but Oregonians should not have to sacrifice one of their most beloved landscapes so that a Washington developer financed by New York money can sell electricity to Southern California.

The transmission lines would cross federal lands that were specially designated by Congress in 2000 for protection of Steens Mountain.

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