Chords For Conservation: Music Inspired By The Sagebrush Sea


March 6, 2017

Photo of pronghorn at sunset on the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming (by USFWS).

This just-released song features a new instrument created in honor of the sage grouse

by Jennifer Strickland, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Mountain Prairie Region

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Wyoming protects a vast sagebrush landscape, ribboned with miles of the Green River and the lush wetlands lining its banks. In summer 2016, the Asheville folk band River Whyless traveled to Seedskadee to experience the stark beauty of the sagebrush west and the wildlife that lives there, including moose, pronghorn antelope, cutthroat trout and the iconic greater sage-grouse.

Inspired by their experiences in the sagebrush and on Seedskadee, River Whyless produced a new song, “Hold Me To Ya,” and even created a new instrument for the song that was inspired by the sage grouse. The song and its accompanying music video were released last month on January 27, 2017.

This unique opportunity was organized as part of the nonprofit Sustain Music and Nature’s Songscape program, which partners bands and public land areas in order to create music inspired by protected landscapes. listen to the lovely song below:

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.