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New Money For Sage Grouse Conservation Announced

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PBS.org
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  U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a program on Thursday called Sage Grouse Initiative 2.0, in which he allocated $211 million for conservation efforts throughout the West. The initiative provides ranchers with resources to make conservation efforts on their own private land economically viable. The initiative is expected to conserve 8 million acres of land by 2018.

Terry Messmer, the director of the community-based conservation program, has been involved with Sage-Grouse conservation for over 20 years.  

 

 

“This commitment is essential to the partnership that has been formed. Essentially what this does is it puts together the complete package where all of the stakeholders who are involved in conservation can marshal their resources to do the best job possible.”

The first Sage-Grouse Initiative was launched in 2010 after the USDA’s Natural Conservation Service invested upwards of $296 million. As a result, 4.4 million acres of land has already been conserved for the bird by using an incentive-based conservation method.

Messner said conservation of Sage Grouse habitat is essential to the ecosystem of the West, because numerous other species are also dependent on the sagebrush landscape.

“Sage-Grouse is an icon of the West,” Messer said. “In other words, how Sage-Grouse goes, so goes the West.”