$5 Million for Sage Grouse Conservation
July 15, 2005
July 15, 2005 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA) issued a press release this week announcing the availability of $5 million for special projects to protect and enhance Greater sage grouse habitat in California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
"This funding is part of President Bush's continuing commitment to protect wildlife," said USDA Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner. "These funds will boost existing efforts and partnerships with private landowners, local organizations and state agencies to improve the viability of the sage grouse.?
The sage grouse, a bird native to the Great Plains and western United States, has seen a decline in population over the past two decades. Private lands comprise 28 percent (40 million acres) of the total acreage where existing Greater sage grouse populations are threatened; the remaining acreage is on state, tribal and public lands.
The funds announced today will be provided through three voluntary conservation programs: $2.7 million from the Grassland Reserve Program, $1 million from the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program and $1.3 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
Additional information on voluntary conservation programs is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.