Newmont signs deal to protect sage grouse near Paradise Valley ranch | NevadaAppeal.com

Newmont signs deal to protect sage grouse near Paradise Valley ranch

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

File - This April 10, 2014, file photo shows a male sage grouse trying to impress a group of hens.

Newmont Mining has signed a deal with the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources designed to protect Sage Grouse habitat at its West IL Ranch near Paradise Valley.

Director Bradley Crowell said the agreement signed this week is the second to use the Conservation Credit System to protect the bird and avoid a future listing of the grouse under the endangered species act.

West IL Ranch will enhance irrigation to increase and improve the quality of meadow habitat for the grouse along the Owyhee River. Enhancements will include repairing and replacing irrigation ditches and damaged head gate infrastructure to improve perennial grass cover and decrease annual grass density in the area.

"Most of Newmont's ranch operations are within Nevada's sagebrush ecosystem and provide a wide range of habitat and biological diversity," said Newmont ecologist Chris Jasmine. "This CCS transaction allows improvements to habitat while improving ranch operations."

The first CCS agreement was also signed by Newmont in 2016.

Conservation and Natural Resources is actively working with numerous landowners, users and managers to expand agreements using the CCS that will offset environmental impacts from development and maintain multiple use on public lands.