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New Bill Would Help Save Bighorn Sheep, Golden Eagles

Josh Olander/Wikimedia Commons
The Gila monster is listed as a protected species in Nevada. Wildlife officials would like to boost its population by importing lizards from Utah.

A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including bighorn sheep, golden eagles and the Lahontan cutthroat trout in Nevada. 

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would put $1.4 billion a year toward conservation efforts. Almost 25 million of that would go to Nevada. 

Russell Kuhlman, executive director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation, said the funding would save us a bundle going forward.

"It's really that an ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure," said Kuhlman. "In the long run, it's going to save us from spending even more money to bring them back essentially from the edge of extinction."

The bill was introduced in the U.S, House of Representatives in April but has yet to receive a hearing or a vote.

Kulhman said the money would help state, tribal and federal agencies work together to take species from one state and replenish populations elsewhere.

"Nevada was the source population that helped reintroduce desert sheep throughout the West," said Kuhlman. "And we were able to take the healthy population of sheep that we had and share them with Arizona and Utah as well. "

Gila monsters, for example, are rarely seen in Nevada these days. But Kuhlman said he hopes this bill would allow wildlife managers in New Mexico to help re-establish the lizards in the Silver State.