Feds announce $23M to protect sage grouse habitat
DENVER — A federal agency has announced $23 million in funds to help protect nearly 50,000 acres of sage grouse habitat in Wyoming, Colorado and Montana.
The mottled brown, football-sized bird is considered a candidate for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is among agencies working to shore up populations enough so the bird isn’t listed as threatened or endangered, which could lead to restrictions on activities on public land.
NRCS Chief Dave White announced the funding today at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association trade show in Denver. The money essentially would buy development rights on private ranches, ensuring that the land will be preserved as habitat for sage grouse.