BLM Nevada Success Story

Permittee Outreach Workshop a Success

By Kaley Sproul, Nevada Cattlemen's Association Executive Director

The BLM Nevada in collaboration with the Nevada Cattlemen's Association (NCA) and the Nevada Department of Agriculture recently hosted a series of Permittee Outreach workshops around the state of Nevada to share information on the Greater Sage Grouse Land Use Plan Amendment and implementation of Table 2-2. The series began on July 6 in Ely and ended on June 10 in Fallon. Other locations include Elko, Battle Mountain and Winnemucca. The goal of this workshop was to encourage cooperation between agencies and permittee holders to work out a solution and clear up any confusion on the future implementation of the GRSG plans.

The workshop consisted of three sections: Habitat Objectives, Habitat Assessment Framework (HAF) and monitoring guidelines. The information was presented by Kathryn Dyer, BLM Nevada Range Program Lead. She will work directly with the permittees in implementing the GRSG plan into their permit if necessary.

Table 2-2 is a broad perspective important to the Greater Sage Grouse. A key point made throughout the presentation was that the plans recognize - as does the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - that well-managed livestock grazing can be compatible with long-term sage-grouse conservation. BLM will continue to coordinate/communicate with stakeholders during the permit renewal process. Livestock grazing management processes will follow existing procedures including Permittee involvement. "We are getting better at effectively communicating", states Kathryn.

The plans do not close greater sage-grouse habitat to livestock grazing, nor do they require a one-size-fits-all approach to grazing allotments. Instead, the plans are structured to focus BLM's limited resources on identifying improper grazing in the habitat that is most important for sage-grouse conservation and work with permittees to more quickly address any identified problems.

NCA feels that the series of permittee outreach workshops around the state is the first step in the right direction to be collaborating and effectively working with the federal agencies. When it comes to GRSG conservation, proper cattle grazing is the best ally the Sage Grouse has.