In anticipation of a final listing decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the Greater Sage Grouse, agencies in Wyoming and the FWS developed a strategy for ranch management activities that can offer private landowners assurances their livestock operations could continue in the event the species is listed under the ESA.
The WGO and FWS in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S Forest Service (USFS), the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA), Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), and the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts have developed an umbrella Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA).
A CCAA is a voluntary agreement whereby private landowners agree to manage their lands to remove or reduce threats to species at risk of being listed under the ESA. In return for managing their lands to the benefit of species at risk, these landowners receive assurances against additional regulatory requirements should that species ever be listed under the ESA. Under a CCAA, the FWS will issue enrolled landowners Enhancement of Survival (EOS) permits pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA for a period of 20 years. Since the agreement is voluntary, the landowner can end it at any point, although in doing so they would give up any assurances, and the EOS permit would terminate. FWS will issue EOS permits to participating landowners contingent on development of a site-specific individual sage-grouse conservation plan consistent with this umbrella CCAA. This umbrella CCAA includes:
- A general description of responsibilities of all involved participating agencies and landowners, and the area covered under the umbrella CCAA;
- Background, status and general threats to sage-grouse, and conservation measures needed to remove or reduce those identified threats;
- Expected benefits of prescribed actions in relation to the five threat factors the FWS is required to evaluate when considering a species for listing; and
- Level of take likely to occur from activities on enrolled lands, assurances, monitoring, and annual reporting.
Read full CCAA here [PDF]
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Contact Greater Sage-Grouse Umbrella CCAA for Wyoming Ranch Management
Wyoming Ecological Services Field Office
5353 Yellowstone Road
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009 Phone:
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