Conservation Collaboration Protects People and Nature
A collaborative effort among many conservation partners marks a milestone that will benefit both people and nature. More than 3,800-acres of the Fairfield Ranch in southern Douglas County are now protected with a conservation easement - a tool that prevents inappropriate development and voluntarily limits some uses on private land in order to protect its natural values.
Minden, NV | January 22, 2014
The Nature Conservancy and the ranch owners worked with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others for more than four years on this project.
“Ranch owners and long-time environmentalists, Cindy and Alan Horn, donated the conservation easement along with a stewardship endowment to The Nature Conservancy,” says Duane Petite, from the Conservancy’s Eastern Sierra Nevada Program. “Patience, perseverance and the generosity of the ranch owners made this shared dream a reality,”
Fairfield Ranch straddles the West Walker River for nearly three miles and the new conservation easement will help protect important habitat for sage grouse. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently proposed listing the Bi-state population (Nevada and California) of sage grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
“This easement demonstrates that important conservation measures are being implemented to ensure the health of sage-grouse in Nevada,” Ted Koch, Nevada State Supervisor, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
“Fairfield Ranch has important wet meadows that are one of the most critical habitats to sage grouse in this arid environment,” says Nevada Department of Wildlife Director Tony Wasley, “This easement has significant conservation value and is important to the long-term viability of sage grouse in the bi-state area.”
“Protecting sage grouse habitat is a priority in Nevada,” adds Matthew Tuma, The Nature Conservancy in Nevada’s state director. “This partnership is a proactive approach to recovering the species and is part of the bigger conservation picture. We are working to create a healthier environment which, in turn, supports a healthy economy.”
“Fairfield Ranch was a high priority for easement acquisition, and I’m thrilled this project came to fruition,” remarks Bruce Petersen, NRCS Nevada State Conservationist. “I look forward to continuing to work with our conservation partners to protect critical identified habitat in the future.”
To learn more about the work The Nature Conservancy is doing around the state, visit nature.org/Nevada.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.