Strategic Conservation Plans for Nevada
Our RoleWith this in mind, the Nevada Land Trust (NLT), formerly the Nevada Land Conservancy, asked us to help them think strategically about western Nevada, the Sierra Front range and areas along border states of California and Oregon—a vast expanse covering 30 million acres. We’re producing a series of planning tools to help the group balance day-to-day efforts to protect land with a long-term vision for the region’s future.
We helped NLT inventory resources in western Nevada, produce a comprehensive Conservation Plan, and develop a series of resource inventory maps to help the land trust’s decision makers clearly evaluate and strategically pursue conservation projects.
Our efforts have helped NLT understand how the sage grouse and other species, such as the mule deer and pronghorn antelope, fit into the mosaic of landscape-scale conservation and the checkerboard of federal and private ownership of western Nevada’s vast landscape. With clear strategy and coordination, conservation in the state can meet both environmental and economic goals.
ResultsSince the Conservation Plan was completed, NLT has played a lead role in conserving habitat for the greater sage grouse in Nevada, working collaboratively with other conservation groups and government partners on a variety of projects to protect the wide-open sagebrush habitat the greater sage grouse needs to thrive. NLT also has worked to acquire key habitat for the pronghorn antelope, another iconic species of the West.
Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge and the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, NLT acquired 1,500 acres of key antelope and sage grouse habitat in the refuge complex. In Churchill Canyon, NLT is working with the ranching community, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and local governments to protect key sage grouse habitat in hopes of keeping the bird off the federal Endangered Species list.