Gov. Sisolak, federal agencies sign plan to reduce wildfire risks in Nevada

15 November 2019

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USA – Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife finalized an agreement to reduce the risk of wildfires in Nevada.

Gov. Sisolak’s office made the announcement on Nov. 15. The agreement calls for state and federal agencies to increase their collaborative efforts to reduce the risk and impacts of deadly wildfires.

The plan, called the Nevada Shared Stewardship Agreement, will identify priority landscapes, coordinate investments and carry out projects that improve “the health and productivity of forest, rangeland and wildlife habitat,” Sisolak’s office said.

The goal of the plan is to achieve landscapes that are more resistant and resilient to wildfire and other disturbances.

The Nevada Shared Stewardship Agreement has two specific goals: that state and federal agencies identify a list of initial projects to reduce fire risk and target completion of two landscape-scale, multijurisdictional projects by the end of 2021.

The second goal is, that by 2025, the parties will work to increase the annual number of acres treated by 50 percent through active management on state, county, private, tribal or federally administered lands.

“This agreement reaffirms our commitment to a collaborative response to Nevada’s wildfire risk and sets up a framework for implementing effective interagency work moving forward,” Gov. Sisolak said.

Large-scale wildfires are considered to be one of the greatest threats to Nevada’s landscapes, and are occurring with increasing size, severity and frequency.

Sisolak’s office said significant increases in invasive grasses compound Nevada’s fire challenges, alter ecological functions, degrade habitats for wildlife and reduce forage for livestock.

“Through the Nevada Shared Stewardship Agreement, the State of Nevada, the Forest Service, BLM, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will expand our working relationships to pursue the right work in the right place at the right scale,” U.S. Forest Service Intermountain Regional Forester Nora Rasure said. “Because catastrophic wildfire threatens all of our shared values, our initial focus will be creating landscapes that are more resistant and resilient to wildfire and other disturbances for the benefit of Nevada’s communities, rural economies, and wildlife.”

To address these threats, the Forest Service announced a new strategy to work more closely with states to identify landscape-scale priorities for targeted treatments in areas with the highest payoffs in 2018.

Since then, the Forest Service has signed Shared Stewardship agreements with eight other states. The Nevada agreement is the first to include the BLM and Fish and Wildlife.

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