USDA raises funding to protect sage grouse population and habitat

12/10/2010 12:43 PM

12/11/2010 12:34 AM

USDA funds sage grouse protection

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service said it has increased funding to protect sage grouse populations and habitat in California and 10 other western states.

The NRCS will provide up to $30 million in the 11 states where sage grouse are found. Producers in these states can apply for financial assistance to improve sage grouse habitat or to reduce threats, such as habitat fragmentation, to the birds.

California will get $6.6 million for the initiative. Sage grouse are ground-dwelling birds native to the sagebrush steppe ecosystem of the American West. The birds, found at elevations ranging from 4,000 to more than 9,000 feet, depend on sagebrush for cover and food. For several decades, sage grouse populations and habitat have been declining.

Interested agricultural producers can find contact information for their local NRCS office by visiting www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov.

-- Carol Reiter

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service