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"(AP) — Newmont Mining Corp. officials signed an agreement Tuesday with the U.S. government and the state of Nevada to protect some of the most critical sage grouse habitat in the West in exchange for assurances it will be allowed to develop other public lands in the future in the largest gold mining state in the nation. Assistant Interior Secretary Janice Schneider said it's the first agreement of this size since her boss, Secretary Sally Jewell, decided nearly a year ago against listing the greater sage grouse as a threatened species across 10 western states. 'Through this planned and coordinated effort to conserve and restore sagebrush habitat on a landscape level, we will be able to advance protection for more than 350 different species of animals and other wildlife and more than 3,500 species of plants that call this ecosystem home,' said Ted Koch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife supervisor for Nevada.", www.sfchronicle.com