Conifer Removal Studies

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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Sagebrush Songbirds Benefit from Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration

September 9, 2015

New research released as part of the Sage Grouse Initiative’s Science to Solutions series shows that restoring sagebrush ecosystems not only benefits ranching and sage grouse but other wildlife, too, including key songbirds.

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Encroaching conifers decrease forage for livestock and reduce habitat for sage grouse.Conifer Removal in the Sagebrush Steppe

July 8, 2015

This transition from shrub steppe to woodland has broad, concerning impacts on ecosystem function and services. This fact sheet explains the “why when, where, and how” of conifer expansion in sagebrush ecosystems, and lists potential management strategies.

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Conifer Removal Restores Sage Grouse Habitat

April 23, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of acres of intact sagebrush lands–and the grouse that depend upon them–are threatened by invading conifers. SGI helps remove the threat to prevent further loss.

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