The Nevada State Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee recently approved key implementation recommendations identified by Governor Brian Sandoval’s Greater Sage-grouse Advisory Committee. The items approved by the legislative committee include formation of a Sagebrush Ecosystem Council, the creation of a multidisciplinary, interagency Sagebrush Ecosystem Technical Team and the placement of three regional specialist positions within the Conservation Districts Program to coordinate efforts on the ground.

“I am pleased that the Interim Finance Committee approved these important expenditures asNevadamoves to establish this innovative landscape management team,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “With these funds, the State is taking a purposeful step to show that Nevada intends to do all we can to conserve the Greater Sage-grouse and its habitat and prevent its listing as an endangered species.

The requests were brought forward to the legislative committee by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“A council, technical team and regional specialists are essential in identifying, prioritizing and implementing both large and smaller-scale projects that protect and improve the sagebrush ecosystem and conserve the Greater Sage-grouse,” said Leo Drozdoff, director of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “The primary threats to the species were recently clarified by the Governor’s Advisory Committee and a coordinated approach — demonstrating the state’s leadership, conviction and commitment — is necessary to produce accomplishments that minimize these threats and underscore Nevada’s ability to manage the bird to avoid listing.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service committed $40,000 to fund the council during the remainder of state fiscal year 2013.  

  • Governor Sandoval established the Greater Sage-grouse Advisory Committee by executive order on March 30, 2012, for the short-term purpose of providing a recommended approach for conservation of the species in Nevada. The Advisory Committee delivered its final recommendations to the Governor on July 31, 2012. Members of the Advisory Committee included representatives of the agriculture, ranching, energy and mining industries, as well as members representing sportsmen, conservationists, local governments, tribal nations and the general public.
  • The approved Sagebrush Ecosystem Technical Team will have five members, including a working team coordinator, a wildlife specialist, a wildfire prevention/suppression/rehabilitation specialist, an agriculture and range invasive specialist and a state lands’ environmental science specialist. The team will be co-located in Carson City and will provide a single point of focus within state government for all stakeholders and members of the public in relation to Greater Sage-grouse issues. The technical team will coordinate closely with the three regional specialists to be located in Winnemucca, Elko and Ely.

Logo courtesy Nevada Department of Wildlife

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