For Immediate Release: December 12, 2007
GOVERNOR TO MEET WITH U.S. SECRETARY OF INTERIOR DIRK KEMPTHORNE
Carson City— Tomorrow, Governor Jim Gibbons will meet with U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to discuss the federal government’s role in assisting Nevada with post-fire land rehabilitation efforts and the U.S. District Court’s recent decision to reverse a 2004 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not list the Sage Grouse as threatened or endangered. Secretary Kempthorne will be in Nevada to attend the annual Colorado River Water Users Association Conference.
Recently, Governor Gibbons signed a memorandum of understanding with Idaho , Utah , and Wyoming to outline and formulate a cooperative plan to ensure the continued coordinated support efforts for wildland fire fuels management and rehabilitation efforts between all four states. Each year, western states lose millions of acres of native vegetation to catastrophic wildfires.
“We are hopeful that our federal partners will join us in our mutual efforts to rehabilitate and reclaim lands affected by this year’s devastating wildfires. Failure to do so will result in an increased presence of invasive species such as cheat grass, red brome, and other annual grasses and exotic vegetation,” said Governor Gibbons.
Governor Gibbons and Secretary Kempthorne will also discuss the U.S. District Court’s order reversing a 2004 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not list the Sage Grouse as threatened or endangered. This recent order will severely impact Nevada ’s, and many other western states’, agricultural industries and their future livelihood.
“The significant federal ownership of land in many parts of Nevada already reduces the tax revenues upon which counties and local governments depend, and I am deeply concerned that this decision will exacerbate the negative impact by reducing the viability of local agricultural production upon which these counties depend,” Governor Gibbons concluded.