Spring Storm in the Great Basin Red Cliffs Desert Tortoise Reserve After a Spring Storm in the Great Basin Hunting Upland Birds at Kingsbury Lake Waterfowl Production Area Sandhill Migration on the Platte River Badlands Sunrise The Green River at Ouray NWR North Park Lupines Moab Sunset
Wyoming ES - CCAA
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

Wyoming Ecological Services

CCAA (Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances)

What are Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs)? These are voluntary conservation agreements between the Service and one or more non-Federal landowner(s). The Service works with its partners, including local, state and federal agencies, to

  • Identify threats to Candidate Species (or species at risk)
  • Plan the measures needed to remove or reduce the threats and conserve these species
  • Identify willing landowners
  • Develop agreements
  • Design and implement conservation measures
  • Monitor their effectiveness

The CCAA program is only available for non-Federal landowners on non-Federal lands and provides the assurance that if enrolled landowners implement various conservation activities, they will not be subject to additional restrictions if the covered species becomes listed under the Endangered Species Act. It is this very concern about the potential regulatory implications of having a listed species on their land that prompted the Service to develop this tool.

Wyoming CCAAs

Greater Sage-Grouse CCAA for Wyoming Ranch Management

The WGO and FWS in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S Forest Service, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts have developed an umbrella Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA).

Thunder Basin

The Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association is working with the Service to develop a CCAA for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli), Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri), sage thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus), mountain plover (Charadrius montanus), burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) and ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis).  The current vision for the CCAA is to have the association hold a permit that allows it to issue certificates of inclusion for participating non-Federal land owners in Campbell, Converse, Crook, Niobrara and Weston counties.


The 4W Ranch is a 29,000-acre cattle ranch in southwestern Weston and northwestern Niobrara counties. The ranch is bisected by the Cheyenne River, and the area immediately adjacent to the river, approximately one-half mile wide, contains a cottonwood riparian forest interspersed with hay fields. Moving north and south out of this riparian area, relatively flat short grass benches occur. These benches contain black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies, which also provide habitat for nesting mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus), burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia), and ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis). In an effort to maintain these four species, as well as provide the ranch with assurances that in the event one or more species become listed under the Endangered Species Act, the 4W Ranch has entered into a CCAA with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Additional Information

Information and Resources for Individual Greater Sage-Grouse CCAA for Wyoming Ranch Management

CCAA Template Tools:

CCAA Documents and Information:

CCAA Frequently Asked Questions

National FWS Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances

FWS Wyoming Ecological Services Contact for CCAA

For more information call (307) 772-2374


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: January 22, 2021
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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