Washington, D.C.—Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following statement today on the agreement between the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Interior to work together employing resources from both the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the sage grouse. The Department of Interior announced last month that the sage grouse is “warranted but precluded” from listing under the Endangered Species Act, meaning other species are currently a higher priority for being listed. In response to this decision, Reid asked the Department of Agriculture to provide funding through voluntary conservation programs to help Nevada ranchers and farmers implement sage grouse habitat improvement projects. USDA announced $16 million is available this year for farmers and ranchers in the 11 Western states that have sage grouse, including Nevada.
“I am encouraged by sage grouse protection agreement announced today by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior,” said Reid. “This integrated conservation framework will provide for prompt implementation of sage grouse preservation and habitat recovery projects as well ensure Nevada ranchers’ and farmers’ conservation efforts will not result in future regulation. These efforts are essential to preserve important rural industries in Nevada and throughout the West.”