SM Energy's efforts to develop a plan to reduce bird deaths and cooperate with federal wildlife officials resulted in a lesser punishment, prosecutors said.

The $22,500 fine is to be paid to the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund for work benefiting migratory birds in Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska.

Ostby also ordered SM Energy to continue implementing its $300,000 remediation plan to prevent future bird deaths at its drilling and storage sites.

A spokesman for SM Energy did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

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