Carson City, NV - September 22, 2015
Governor Brian Sandoval today released the following statement after he joined U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, several Governors of western states, as well as federal, state, and local leaders at a press conference where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its finding that listing the Greater Sage-grouse on the endangered species list as threatened or endangered is not warranted.
“For more than 15 years, Nevada has worked with our neighboring western states and federal partners toward a united goal of conservation of the sagebrush habitat which includes preservation of the Greater Sage-grouse. Today's announcement is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of our local and state leaders who have invested their time and built a blueprint that we believe is the best path forward for Nevada. Had U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended a listing of either threatened or endangered for the greater sage-grouse, the federal government would have expanded its authority over critical sage grouse habitat on both public and private lands. The decision not to list will allow Nevada to maintain control of the management of the sage-grouse, meaning Nevada will continue to monitor individual populations and set priorities that work for Nevada. In my view, resource management at the state level is better than exclusive federal control – and that is a central difference between listing the sage-grouse and not listing it.
“I am cautiously optimistic that this is good news for Nevada and I am pleased that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has come to this decision, but there is more work to be done. I am asking all local, state and federal leaders including the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council to stay at the table to resolve some key issues and continue their strong advocacy for implementation of Nevada’s plan. We will closely monitor the implementation of this decision so that every option remains available to our state.
“Today we reinforce the fundamental importance of a public-private partnership where federal and local stakeholders have equal platforms and participate as partners. Furthermore, this decision will help define federal obligations in the West and will help provide direction for Congress to adequately fund fire suppression as well as mitigation and restoration work across the western states.
“I appreciate Secretary Jewell’s commitment to continue working with us and I take her at her word that we will collaborate in good faith during the next two years so that we have the opportunity to demonstrate that the Nevada plan provides the best conservation for sage-grouse in Nevada.”
Office of the Governor . 101 North Carson Street . Carson City, NV 89701 . (775) 684-5670
Grant Sawyer State Office Building . 555 East Washington, Suite 5100 . Las Vegas, NV 89101 . (702) 486-2500