Harney County Sage-grouse Steering Committee-CCAA
Renee' Buermann, Committee Member
450 N Buena Vista #5
Burns, OR 97720
Voice: (541) 589-3458
As chair of the Harney County Sage-Grouse CCAA Steering Committee, I believe Harney County farmers and ranchers are the best stewards of our lands and environment. Our rangeland management and best practices have served to maintain and enhance habitat beneficial to both our livestock and the preservation of native species. The emergence of candidate species for Federal ESA listing have made it vitally important for landowners to articulate their commitment to beneficial rangeland management and to secure Federal assurances that will protect our future land use interests and ways of living within Harney County in the event of a species’ listing.
This is precisely the mission of our Harney County Sage-Grouse CCAA Steering Committee. As we enter the new year our Steering Committee has a primary goal of assuming a leadership role on behalf of all participating Harney County landowners to develop a “Programmatic Sage-Grouse CCAA” for submittal to USFWS which articulates our county’s landowner habitat conservation measures and will secure land use assurances important to the protection of our ranches, farms, and communities. During 2012 expect to learn more about these efforts and how landowners can choose to participate through information that will be provided to the media, local group presentations, and local community town hall meetings.
Tom Sharp—Chair Harney County Sage-grouse CCAA Steering Committee
The mission of the Harney County Sage-Grouse CCAA Steering Committee (hereafter Steering Committee) is to promote the development of a programmatic CCAA for greater sage-grouse (hereafter sage-grouse) that will provide dependable assurances for landowners, identify sage grouse
habitat conservation measures that are compatible with the continuation of ranching and other land uses important to the social and economic viability of our rural communities, and preclude the need for United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to list sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Our Mission Statement is predicated on the following principles:
1. The CCAA must provide dependable assurances for landowners in Harney County in the event of a future listing of sage-grouse as threatened or endangered under ESA.
2. Conservation measures identified within the CCAA for maintaining/enhancing the quality and quantity of sage-grouse habitat must be compatible with the continuation of ranching and other land uses important to the social and economic viability of Harney County.
3. The CCAA must demonstrate a commitment by landowners in Harney County to conservation of sage-grouse and its habitat, thereby resulting in a substantial contribution to USFWS’s decision not to list the species as threatened or endangered
Objectives-The Steering Committee has identified the following 4 objectives:
Objective 1: Write a programmatic CCAA for sage-grouse in Harney County that will provide dependable assurances for private landowners, identify opportu-nities to maintain or enhance the quality and quantity of sage-grouse habitat in Harney County, and preclude the need for USFWS to list sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
Objective 2: Create a framework for development and maintenance of site specific conservation plans for individual landowners that is compatible with the continuation of ranching and other land uses important to the social and economic viability of our rural communities and meets habitat conservation, monitoring, and reporting obligations identified in the programmatic CCAA.
Objective 3: Provide outreach and information to landowners in Harney County that allows them to make informed decisions and results in significant enrollment in the CCAA through a Certificate of Inclusion.
Objective 4: Provide guidance to landowners on coordination of site specific conservation plans with federal land interests and permits.
Greater Sage Grouse
The greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), an iconic ground-dwelling bird native to the arid sagebrush plains of the American West, has experienced significant population declines over the last fifty years, making it a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The population declines have resulted from habitat loss and fragmentation associated with land conversion, energy development, urbanization, wildfire, conifer encroachment, and invasive species.
Although sage-grouse occupy extremely large landscapes (186 million acres), a quarter of all sage-grouse live within 4 percent of the range (7 million acres), and 75 percent of birds are concentrated within 27 percent (50 million acres) of their distribution. In 2010, the NRCS launched the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) to strategically focus conservation efforts to maximize biological benefits to sage-grouse populations. Conservation activities include establishing conservation easements to prevent working ranches from being subdivided; implementing sustainable grazing systems to improve hiding cover for birds; removing invasive conifers from grasslands to allow birds to re-colonize otherwise suitable habitat; and marking or moving “high-risk” fences near breeding sites to reduce bird collisions. The Sage Grouse Initiative capitalizes on the strong link between management required to support healthy sage grouse habitat and sustainable ranching operations.
Renee’ Buermann- 541-589-3458
Zola Ryan- 541-573-7252
Tom Sharp- 541-589-3317
A Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) is a voluntary agreement between a private landowner and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). The CCAA utilizes conservation measures to benefit both the designated wildlife species and the landowner. Currently, the Harney County Sage Grouse CCAA Steering Committee is collaboratively developing a countywide,
programmatic CCAA to recognize the value of ranchlands for the long-term wildlife habitat they provide.
- CCAA-Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances Outreach
- Harney County Sage-grouse Steering Committee Newsletters