USDA releases sage grouse report | TSLN.com

USDA releases sage grouse report

The Agriculture Department today released a report showing that, since 2010, USDA and its partners in the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) have worked with private landowners to restore 4.4 million acres of habitat for sage grouse while maintaining working landscapes across the West.

USDA also announced today that, through the provisions of the 2014 farm bill, it will invest in new sage-grouse conservation work over the next four years.

"We're working with ranchers who are taking proactive steps to improve habitat for sage-grouse while improving the sustainability of their agricultural operations," Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie said.

"Thanks to the interest from ranchers and support of our conservation partners, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is working to secure this species' future while maintaining our vibrant western economies. Since 2010, we've worked with ranchers to conserve, restore, or maintain more than 4 million acres of habitat on private lands — an area twice the size of Yellowstone National Park."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to list the greater sage-grouse as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, but the action has caused alarm in rural America due to disruptions the listing would cause in the agricultural economy.

–The Hagstrom Report