Big sage grouse meeting May 27, two more on May 28 and May 29 in Minden, Bishop

A big, Nevada/California group that has been woking to prevent the sage grouse from being listed for federal protection will meet in Bridgeport next week, and the public, especially landowners who might be affected by the federal protection if it is granted, are invited to attend the meeting.

The meeting will provide information for landowners about possible options they could use to protect the grouse to in an attempt to prevent the grouse from being listed. Landowners are also encouraged to bring as much data as possible supporting what they think might be good conservation methods.

Two more sage grouse meeting are also scheduled on the Eastside for next week, this time with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service itself, the agency responsible for making the ultimate decision about whether to list the grouse

Those meetings are Wednesday, May 28, in Minden, Nevada at the Carson Valley Inn from 6-9 p.m. and Thursday, May 29, 6-9 p.m., at the Bishop Fairgrounds. The meetings are hosted by the fish and wildlife service as part of the "extended comment period" that was recently put in place after much public resistance to the possible listing of the grouse under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Here's the latest on the Bi-State Local Area Working Group meeting next Tuesday, May 27, in Bridgeport:

Where: Bridgeport Memorial Hall

When: Tuesday, May 27 from 5 pm to 9 pm

1. Welcome and introductions

2. 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm: Working Lands for Wildlife program (NRCS): Discussion of this program that provides landowners a venue to implement conservation practices on their private property. More details can be obtained by reviewing the following link:

3. 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm: 4(d) Rule discussion (LAWG/USFWS)

a. Overview and purpose of the special rule

b. Summary of comments received to date

c. Public input and discussion
• Scope of the rule
• Rangeland conditions and the effects of livestock grazing within the Bi-State area
• Process or procedure to apply the rule

3. 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm: Critical Habitat discussion (LAWG/USFWS)

a. Overview and purpose

b. Primary Constituent Elements (PCEs) defined and discussed

c. Summary of comments received to date

d. Public discussion: areas for addition/exclusion and rationale

Please note:
• If possible, specific data and information substantiating comments, as it relates to the addition/exclusion of critical habitat, are requested.

• Informal meeting notes will be taken and provided to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. However, individuals wishing to provide “formal” comments as part of the public record should fill out a USFWS comment card and submit at the meeting, or at one of the public hearings scheduled for May 28th and 29th. If you have already submitted comments, it is not necessary to resubmit.