New Nevada Agreement Paves The Way For Landscape-Scale Conservation

Many partners made onservation projects possible on the Stoebeckis ranch, including the NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative.October 18, 2018

The Stoebeckis have implemented several conservation projects on their Nevada ranch, thanks to many partners working together to leverage funding.

Public and private partners sign an MOU to collaboratively enhance sagebrush habitat in Nevada

Several partners in Nevada signed a landmark agreement to leverage funding across state, federal, and private property to accelerate sagebrush conservation.

The cooperative agreement allows public and private partners in Nevada to pool resources to reduce threats to sagebrush country and improve working rangelands on a landscape scale.

Scaling up proactive conservation efforts across property boundaries in Nevada will benefit sagebrush-dependent wildlife and the agricultural communities that depend on healthy, intact rangelands. 

Sagebrush rangelands in Nevada span across state, private, and federal lands, which means partners must work together to make a difference at a landscape scale.

The Nevada agreement was signed by Pheasants Forever, Nevada USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nevada Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife,Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Nevada Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The partners will prioritize funding projects such as:

  • removing encroaching conifers
  • treating invasive weeds
  • reducing the threat of wildfire
  • rehabilitating rangelands post-wildfire
  • restoring wet meadows

The Nevada agreement is modeled on the Burley Landscape Habitat Restoration Project in Idaho, which is a shining example of how organizations can effectively pool resources to conserve wildlife on public lands in ways that complement projects on adjacent private land. 

Many partners are working collaboratively across public and private property as part of Idaho’s Burley Landscape Habitat Restoration Project to remove encroaching conifers from sagebrush range.

The success of the Burley Project shows how much can be accomplished through public-private collaboration — to date, partners have improved habitat by removing encroaching conifers from 28,000 acres in half the time allotted in their plan. Now partners are treating an additional 47,000 acres of sagebrush rangeland in Idaho.  

The new agreement in Nevada allows partners to leverage funds not only for conifer removal projects, but also for projects that 1) reduce the spread of fire and invasive species, or 2) restore and enhance wet meadows.

Both the Nevada and the Idaho agreements are part of a larger MOU between the NRCS, BLM, and USFS to develop models that conserve sagebrush at a landscape scale by working seamlessly across public and private land ownerships.

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The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.