Collaborative Conservation Effort for Greater Sage Grouse Celebrated

doi logoReport on One Year Anniversary Highlights Actions Taken to Implement Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation

DENVER – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today marked the one year anniversary of the historic decision not to list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act by celebrating the ongoing unprecedented collaborative conservation effort to conserve the sagebrush ecosystem with stakeholders at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

The Administration, in partnership with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), today also released a report highlighting recent actions to conserve the sagebrush ecosystem, including efforts to minimize further habitat disturbance, restore the health of fire-impacted landscapes, reduce invasive grasses and provide opportunities for landowners and ranchers to invest in conservation actions that benefit the greater sage-grouse and the success of their own operations.

Opportunities for Voluntary Conservation Efforts Under Endangered Species Act

usfws logoRevisions to policy implementing Candidate Conservation program improve process for working with states, tribes and private landowners

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and NOAA Fisheries today finalized revisions to the Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs) policy under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The Candidate Conservation program is emblematic of the flexibility of the ESA and how the law can be used to engage partners in conserving and protecting imperiled species before they are listed as threatened or endangered. In particular, CCAAs provide a mechanism that encourages non-federal landowners to implement specific conservation measures for at-risk wildlife. In return, they receive assurances that they will not be required to undertake any additional conservation measures or be subject to additional resource use or land use restrictions, even if subsequent information indicates that additional or revised conservation measures are needed for the species or if the species is ultimately listed under federal protection.

Revised Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook Available

usfws logoThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Services), announce the availability of the final revised Habitat Conservation Planning (HCP) Handbook, which describes requirements, procedures, and guidance for permit issuance and conservation plan development for incidental take permits under the Endangered Species Act. The purpose of the newly revised joint HCP Handbook is to instruct the Services on how to assist applicants to develop HCPs in an efficient and effective manner, while ensuring adequate conservation of listed species. Although the Handbook is designed for the Services, it also can be useful to other HCP practitioners, such as applicants, consultants, and partners.

USDA Offers Renewal Options for Expiring Conservation Stewardship Program Contracts

USDA’s Largest Conservation Program Helps Producers Improve Health, Productivity of Working Lands

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2017 – Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young today announced that a contract renewal sign-up is underway for the Conservation Stewardship Program(CSP), USDA’s largest working lands conservation program with more than 80 million acres enrolled.  USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service(NRCS) made several updates to the popular program last fall.  These changes help producers better evaluate conservation options that benefit their operations while improving the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands.

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