Conifer Removal Studies

New Science: When Trees Are Cut, Grasses & Shrubs Return

November 14, 2017

Research shows that conifers decrease the native sagebrush grasses and shrubs that wildlife and livestock rely on, and confirms that forage comes back when trees are removed.

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wide open sagebrush with mesic habitatNew Framework Helps Plan Next Generation Of Sagebrush Restoration

August 2, 2017

Innovative new research on conifer removal spans the life cycle of sage grouse, helping managers increase the efficiency of future work to restore sagebrush habitat.

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Latest Science Reveals Most Effective Conifer Removal Treatments

July 13, 2017

New research on conifer cutting and prescribed burning helps resource managers and landowners plan sagebrush conservation projects that deliver the best results for the bird and the herd.

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patrick donnelly presenting at SRM symposium 2017Now Available! Online Replay Of Scientific Presentations On Woodland Expansion

February 21, 2017

Watch free 20-minute presentations featuring the latest science on how removing invading conifers boosts water availability, forage production, and grouse survival.

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sage grouse on nestConifer Removal Boosts Sage Grouse Success

January 26, 2017

New research shows that 86% of hens avoided nesting in sagebrush habitat invaded by conifers. Luckily, the studies also show that removing conifers in otherwise high-quality habitat is a boon to nesting sage grouse.

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woodland-expansion-collageRangeland Science Journal Publishes Special Issue On Reducing Woodland Expansion

January 10, 2017

The latest research — published in this month’s special issue of SRM’s Rangeland Ecology & Management science journal — shows the benefits of removing conifers for grouse, wildlife, and people living in sagebrush and prairie ecosystems.

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Can you find the sage grouse hen on her nest? A new study compares nesting habitat recovery post conifer removal. Photo: Tataiana Gettelman, USGSNew Research Finds That Sage Grouse Prefer Nesting In Conifer-Free Landscapes

November 10, 2016

Scientists tracked sage grouse nest success in southern Oregon, and found that hens avoided sites where conifer cover exceeded 3% within 800m of their nests.

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Wet areas are critical for sage grouse in late summer -- removing encroaching conifers helps retain water for the benefit of wildlife and ranching operations.Sagebrush Rangelands Help Maintain Water Availability

August 3, 2016

Water delivery is delayed by an average of nine days in sagebrush systems compared to juniper-dominated systems. Holding water later into the summer season helps the sagebrush system become more diverse, benefiting vegetation, wildlife, and ranchers. This is one of the greatest services that an ecosystem can provide in the West.

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lesser prairie chicken picture Nick Richter photoNew Science: Conifer Removal Restores Habitat for Lesser Prairie Chickens

April 4, 2016

Conifer encroachment spells bad news for birds that need intact, wide open spaces–sage grouse and lesser prairie-chickens included. This new report released by our partner, the Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative, explains why.

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Hellyer Ranch near South Pass City, WY uses off-stream water development and riparian pastures to distribute livestock and protect habitat.New Research + Movie: Wet Habitats On Private Lands Critical For Sage Grouse

March 7, 2016

A new study and a complementary video of two hens’ summer movements show that wet islands of green in the sagebrush sea provide vital foraging habitat for growing sage grouse broods.

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