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03-02-2003, 08:45 PM


Nevada Division of Wildlife Seeks Public Input on Non-Game Species Programs
By: Jill Olson

This February, members of the public will get an opportunity to voice their ideas and suggestions about non-game wildlife management projects in Nevada to state wildlife officials. Three public input meetings will be held during the month to help Nevada Division of Wildlife (NDOW) staff determine future program goals regarding Nevada’s amphibians, crustaceans, reptiles, mammals and birds.

Nevada, with its varied and unique ecosystems, is home to many diverse species. According to a NatureServe publication, "States of the Union: Ranking America's Biodiversity," Nevada ranked third highest in percentage of species at risk, with the fourth highest percentage of fish and third highest percentage of amphibians at risk in the U.S. Programming goals will work towards protecting and ensuring the survival of such sensitive species.

NDOW is currently moving forward on a number of projects funded by federal dollars to help manage non-game species. The state has received approximately $2 million to use towards this cause as part of the federal Wildlife Conservation and Reinvestment Act (WCRP) and the State Wildlife Grants. NDOW has formed a new bureau, the Wildlife Diversity Bureau, to implement the program. Current projects include evaluation of commercial reptile collection, amphibian and bat surveys and education programs, as well as land and aquatic bird counts and monitoring programs. These activities are conducted with the cooperation and support of federal, local, commercial and non-profit entities, as well as volunteers.

The following meetings have been scheduled in an effort to garner input from the public on future Wildlife Diversity program planning:

• February 18 Reno 7-9 p.m. 1100 Valley Road

• February 20 Las Vegas 7-9 p.m. 4747 Vegas Drive

• February 24 Elko 7-9 p.m. 60 Youth Center Road

The Wildlife Diversity Bureau is responsible for non-game species in Nevada. Sandy Canning, Wildlife Diversity Bureau Chief, said the bureau’s ultimate goal is to develop and expand non-game programs.

“This new bureau gives the non-game program a ‘seat at the table’ in wildlife management,” Canning explains. “We are successfully putting the allocated federal funds to their intended use. NDOW is eager to work with the public to develop a responsive and effective conservation program that all Nevadans can be proud of.”