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The Nature Conservancy Supports New Rangeland Fire Secretarial Order

Arlington, Virginia – WEBWIRE

The Nature Conservancy released the following statement from Sage Grouse Coordinator, Len Barson, in support of U.S. Department of Interior Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration Order 3336, released by U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell: 

“Rangeland fires have increased in frequency, size and intensity in recent years, accelerated by the increasing invasion of natural ecosystems by non-native annual grasses. As the Secretary’s order states, the loss of habitat from fire is a significant threat not only to the greater sage-grouse, but, more broadly, to the future of the native sagebrush steppe ecosystem and the people and wildlife that depend on it.  

The Secretary’s order correctly puts in place a process that accomplishes several things. First, it emphasizes use of the best available science to target funding and action. Second, it engages and integrates current federal agency efforts with those of state, local and tribal governments along with non-governmental organizations, local landowners, and firefighters as true partners.  It also correctly stresses the need to encourage innovative approaches and the use of new technologies in these efforts.  

In addition, we support the Secretary’s recognition of the need to fight this battle in both the short and long term. It is critically important both to develop and implement strategies to be put in place this year and next, as well as to consider actions that may take longer to develop and use. We particularly commend the Secretary’s call for a commitment to multi-year investments in restoration, adaptive management, and monitoring of already burned areas. 

In short, we strongly support the Secretary’s commitment to take strong steps and action to prevent and reduce the intensity of future fires and restore the sagebrush ecosystem landscape for the benefit of the diverse wildlife and plant populations, local communities and economies, recreation, and other values it supports.”

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at


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