Fed agencies agree to help sage grouse in West | VailDaily.com

Fed agencies agree to help sage grouse in West

Associated Press Writer

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Farmers and ranchers in 11 western states can help protect both their operations and sage grouse thanks to an agreement between two federal agencies.

The agreement announced Tuesday by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar involves the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service.

The agencies will work together to help landowners protect the sage grouse and its habitat.

In return, the landowners will be in better position to avoid potentially stifling regulations if the bird is judged endangered.

Sage grouse are found in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, California, Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, South Dakota, North Dakota and Canada.

Their once vast numbers have been reduce severely, mainly from loss of habitat.

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