Building Conservation Capacity | What’s New at SGI
July 9, 2015
In February, NRCS Chief Jason Weller delivered this webinar to Sage Grouse Initiative partners. His address highlights the impressive on-the-ground outcomes achieved in the sagebrush-steppe over the last five years, and also announces his vision for ensuring the durability of SGI into the future. Part of that vision includes building capacity to better support SGI’s conservation efforts, along with the work of companion conservation Initiatives under the NRCS’ Working Lands for Wildlife umbrella.
This month, the vision is becoming a reality. We are pleased to announce the following staff changes within SGI, which will allow us to deliver even more voluntary conservation programs to landowners throughout the West.
Tim Griffiths, the national coordinator of the Sage Grouse Initiative since 2010, recently accepted a new position within NRCS as the Western Lead for Working Lands for Wildlife. In this new role, Tim will continue to provide vision and leadership for SGI, and will also help bolster the capacity of conservation efforts for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken and the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. NRCS plans to hire a new national coordinator for SGI as soon as possible to work closely with Tim on improving sage grouse populations and conserving their vital habitat. Learn more about Tim and find his contact info here.
Jeremy Maestas, the former NRCS State Biologist in Oregon, recently accepted a new position as the Sagebrush Ecosystem Specialist at the NRCS West National Technology Support Center. Jeremy will now serve as an agency expert on sagebrush ecosystems, and assist with strategic delivery of conservation efforts across the West. He will focus on helping states implement conservation projects outlined in SGI 2.0, including invasive species management, conifer removal, reducing fire risk, and mesic habitat restoration. Learn more about Jeremy and find his contact info here.
Dave Naugle, SGI’s National Science Advisor since 2010, signed on to continue in this role for another five years. Part of his work will now include helping to bolster science capacity for other western species within the Working Lands for Wildlife program, too. Dave is also a professor of Large Scale Wildlife Ecology within the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana. Learn more about Dave and find his contact info here.
The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.