The State of Nevada is pleased to announce that funds are available through the Sagebrush Ecosystem Program for projects initiated in 2017 that will enhance and restore high-quality greater sage-grouse habitat on private and public land. The purpose of these funds is two-fold: (1) improve greater sage-grouse habitat in the State of Nevada, and (2) create a supply of "compensatory mitigation credits" to fulfill mitigation needs of future BLM and USFWS permits through the Nevada Conservation Credit System (Credit System).
Up to $1,2000,000 of funding is available for projects that can be initiated in 2017. Private landowners, businesses, conservation organizations, mitigation bankers, and state agencies are encouraged to submit projects that enhance and protect habitat on private and/or public land. Interested parties apply for funding using a Letter of Interest form. The highest scoring projects based on the Selection Criteria described in the Announcement will be funded.
$1,000,000 was available through the 2016 round of funding, which attracted 21 project applications, and four projects were funded and underway by early summer. These projects completed habitat assessments this summer, and are now developing management plans and performing habitat improvements. These projects are anticipated to generate approximately 5,500 credits by enhancing and protecting 13,607 acres of greater sage-grouse habitat in four counties and all three WAFWA Management Zones. The five projects initially selected for funding are summarized in the April 2016 Sagebrush Ecosystem Council Staff Report.
Funding will support implementation of habitat improvements, including the development of management plans, analyses of habitat quality, and completion of all steps necessary for projects to be ready to sell credits through the Conservation Credit System. Funded projects will establish a mutually beneficial partnership between the project proponent and the State. The State will provide proejct proponents with upfront financial and technical assistance necessary to implement projects that generate credits. Future credit sales will create the opportunity for the project proponent to receive additional payments and for the State to recover the funding provided. Terms of cost recovery will be defined with each project proponent as part of the agreement to receive funds for each funding project.