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April 20, 2014

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Council named to oversee preservation of sage grouse habitat

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval on Friday named a 12-member council to oversee the state’s efforts to preserve the declining habitat for sage grouse and keep the federal government from restricting millions of acres of public land by declaring the species endangered.

The Sagebrush Ecosystem Council was created by an executive order of the governor and is responsible for providing direction for the state program.

The governor said preserving the habitat so that the federal government does not step in is “of utmost important to our state.”

Mining, ranching and energy advocates said listing the sage grouse as endangered would result in further restrictions on use of the public lands.

Named to the council as voting members were Starla Lacey of Clark County, representing energy; Doug Busselman of Washoe County, representing agriculture; Tina Nappe of Washoe County, representing conservation and the environment; Commissioner JJ Goicoechea of Eureka County, representing local government; Allen Biaggi of Douglas County, representing mining; Jeremy Drew of Douglas County, representing sportsmen; Steven Boies of Elko County, representing ranching; Gerry Emm of Carson City, representing tribal nations; and Kent McAdoo of Elko County, representing the general public.

Named as non-voting members were Ted Koch, state supervisor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Amy Lueders, state director of the Bureau of Land Management; and Bill Dunkelberger, supervisor of the U. S. Humboldt-Toiyabe Forest.

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