USDA Acts to Protect Sage-Grouse Habitat


DENVER, February 4, 2011- Dave White, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced the availability of funds to conserve critical sage-grouse habitat in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. White made the announcement during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association meeting in Denver. The funding is being made available through USDA’s Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).


“NRCS is taking bold steps to protect agricultural lands that sage-grouse depend upon, and is working to ensure that this vulnerable species continues to have access to the habitat it needs to thrive,” said White. “The Obama Administration is working to preserve wildlife habitat through sound management practices. Through a partnership with farmers and ranchers we will keep sagebrush grazing lands in production and preserve and improve wildlife habitat.”


NRCS field staff work collaboratively with farmers and ranchers to implement scientifically proven conservation practices that foster conditions tailored to the needs of the species and improves natural resources on agricultural lands.

To support on-going Sage-Grouse Initiative (SGI) partnership efforts, NRCS will use $23 million in FRPP funds to protect approximately 40,000 acres of prime sagebrush grazing land in Wyoming, 7,000 acres of working lands in Montana, and roughly 2,000 acres of large and intact sagebrush grasslands in Colorado.

Initiatives such as SGI and Farm Bill programs play an important role in sustaining, enhancing and protecting our Nation’s valuable natural resources and agricultural land. All programs are delivered and implemented through a cooperative conservation partnership and the efforts of farm and ranch owners.

For more information about NRCS conservation programs visit NRCS on the Web at www.nrcs.usda.gov, or visit your nearest USDA Service Center.


 

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