Feds and state agree to cooperate on NV lands

Published: Aug. 15, 2017 at 6:16 PM PDT
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It was a purely ceremonial event, a signing ceremony between two federal and three state agencies, but the setting--in the forest below Mount Rose-- was significant.

If a wildfire were to threaten this glade in the slopes above the Galena Visitors Center, it would be the responsibility of the U-S Forest Service, but it would bring a quick response from other agencies.

The agreement signed August 15, 2017 builds on that relationship to make cooperation on other efforts easier and more efficient.

"Now we can work together on fuel treatment projects," says Nora Rasure, the Forest Services Intermountain Regional Forester. "We can work together on projects to reduce invasive species, animals, grasses. We can work together to restore watersheds."

"And so fire suppression, that's a good model approach to think about. Interagency works. And this allows us to do that interagency work on other resource values."

It's called a Good Neighbor Authority and it applies common sense cooperation to land management issues.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife, for instance, tracks the health of the sage grouse and its habitat. Much of that habitat is on U-S Forest or BLM land.

"So we can work together and use their expertise, their staffing to go do that work on the national forests. That information helps us make decisions about projects that we have going on on the national forest."

Much of this kind of cooperation is already taking place. This agreement formalizes it for a 10-year period and in a state where the vast majority of land is federally managed, it's all the more important.

"We all have limited resources and we all have a lot to do," says Rasure. "It's incredibly important. I think we're going to get a lot more done when we work together."