I attended a meeting of the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council July 30 (my third) in Carson City. Like a lot of things that go on in government, few readers will have heard of the council.
It was set up late last year by Gov. Sandoval in an effort to forestall the feds putting the sage grouse on the endangered species list, a measure that would declare large swaths of Nevada off limits to business and recreation.
The Legislature earmarked $304 million to fund the council.
Now the council, comprising representatives of several federal agencies and state offices is working on preserving habitat for the birds. In the recent hearings and writings by the council there is little said about preserving the birds, only habitat.
Cliff Gardner of Elko County and Floyd Rathbun and Bob Clifford of Churchill County have spoken at previous meetings, pointing out errors and misconceptions the council is making. Both Gardner and Rathbun have extensive knowledge of the sage grouse and its habits.
While the council sees farming and ranching as harmful to the bird, Gardner and Rathbun have facts showing that sage grouse numbers were highest in the 1950s when agriculture was prominent in Nevada and that since the usurping of control over public land by federal agencies, the population has diminished.
The council seems uninterested, however, in listening to facts and has entered these discussions determined to ignore public comment and proceed with a plan that if not consciously following UN Agenda 21 ideology, is definitely working very near it.
The governor should be told that his sagebrush council is on the wrong track and rather than spending millions of dollars on a problem the council does not seem to understand should study how things were in the 1950s and follow that model.
Jim Falk, Fallon