RENO, Nev. (AP) - Thousands of acres of ranchland along a scenic river in southern Douglas County will be protected under a conservation easement.
A deal announced last week preserves about 3,800 acres of the Fairfield Ranch, a move conservationists and land managers say will protect critical sage grouse habitat and the area's natural values.
Ranch owners Alan and Cindy Horn donated the conservation easement along with a stewardship endowment to The Nature Conservancy.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reports the deal was four years in the making and involved talks with the Horns, the conservancy and state and federal agencies.
Part of the ranch straddles nearly 3 miles of the West Walker River and is considered vital habitat for a distinct subspecies of sage grouse that lives only along the Nevada-California line.