A memorandum of understanding between federal and state agencies would allow routine grazing for property owners who agree to set aside land as black-footed ferret habitat.
The Safe Harbor Agreement announced Monday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is part of an effort to boost the wild population of the endangered animal from 500 to 3,000 in the next 10 years.
Black-footed ferrets are the only species native to North America and were once thought extinct until their rediscovery in Wyoming in 1981.
Private, public and tribal lands would eligible for the conservation effort in: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
A 30-day public review and comment period will be announced in the Federal Register on Wednesday.