Sage Grouse Conservation
In June 2000, Governor Guinn appointed a team of approximately 25 people from diverse backgrounds and interests to his Sage Grouse Conservation Team.
The mission of the team, as defined by Governor Guinn, is "To conserve and protect Nevada's sage-grouse and their habitat."
Sage-grouse populations in Nevada and throughout their range in the west have displayed a significant downward trend in both numbers and distribution. Sage grouse habitat losses have paralleled the trends in populations. These circumstances have prompted several environmental groups to petition the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list sage grouse, in Nevada and the remainder of the West, under the authority of the Endangered Species Act. These groups have petitioned to list sage grouse in the State of Washington and the Gunnison sage grouse in Colorado and Utah.
NDOW believes that a listing of the sage-grouse would seriously jeopardize the State's economy and the lifestyle of its citizens. The State's authority for management of the species would also be significantly compromised by a listing.
Nevada has a fair knowledge of general distribution, trends and demography of our sage grouse populations, however considerable work is now under way in an effort to consolidate that data.
Need: The listing of sage grouse as an endangered species in Nevada would have significant impacts on the State. Sage grouse are found in fifteen of Nevada's 17 counties, and land use, economics, water use and recreational activities may be adversely affected.
Conservation plans and agreements are elements that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must consider when considering listing a species for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Conservation planning and agreements that embrace the concepts of the Western Governor's Association's Enlibra policy may preclude the need for listing a species. The conservation planning efforts of the Governor's Sage Grouse Team and the regional subcommittees will be considered in the process.