Bruce Petersen, state conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced today that there is still time for ranchers to sign up for financial assistance to benefit sage-grouse habitats. This may also include restoration of lands damaged by wildfires.
Installing water developments, replacing fence and managing rangelands are just some of the practices that can be installed under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, according to Petersen. Landowners can also remove pinyon-juniper woodlands, restore meadows and control noxious weeds.
“In addition, landowners who enroll in NRCS programs to benefit sage-grouse are provided regulatory certainty,” said Petersen. This action protects landowners from increased regulation should the bird be listed under the Endangered Species Act in the future.
Last year, NRCS awarded over $1.5 million for 21 contracts to restore over 300,000 acres of habitat, remove 8,000 acres of pinyon-juniper woodland and mark 13 miles of fence.
Landowners are encouraged to sign up soon before all of the funds are allocated. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis but are ranked periodically so that projects can begin.
For more information, contact your local NRCS office.