Field & Stream Video Released: Sage Grouse Initiative Hero for a Day

July 22, 2014

Hero for a Day Video: How Small Pieces of Plastic Can Save Hundreds of Sage Grouse

“In Billings, Montana, volunteers with the Sage Grouse Initiative hung visibility markers on three miles of fencing to help prevent the low-flying birds from colliding with the wires, a major cause of mortality for sage grouse. Volunteers also planted sage brush to provide nesting habitat, food, and cover to help the dwindling species rebound.”  (Field & Stream)

(photo to right of Montana rancher Dave Bequette)

The Sage Grouse Initiative is pleased to promote a new video, released July 22nd by Field & Stream. From SGI staff’s participation in the video production, we know how much time and effort the production crew and editors spent to capture the volunteers who are making a difference for sage grouse. They visited the COR Enterprises facility in Billings, where adults with disabilities make fencemarkers to prevent sage grouse collisions. The team headed to the Special K Ranch, where the adults with developmental disabilities grow sagebrush to be planted for restoration of sage grouse habitat. The crew then spent a full day  on the Bequette family ranch south of Laurel, Montana, filming and interviewing participants.

The resulting 5-minute video succinctly captures the key messages of sage grouse conservation that works because of ranchers and groups and individuals stepping up to help the bird and the entire sagebrush ecosystem thrive.

The Sage Grouse Initiative would like to thank all the volunteers who participated, and recognize that not all could fit into a short film. We’d especially like to thank: Little Bighorn FFA for their hard work building and placing  escape ramps for sage grouse and placing them in livestock tanks; the Montana Conservation Corps for removing old fence; and all the 40 volunteers clipping on fencemarkers, nailing in perch deterrents, planting sagebrush, removing fence, and making livestock tanks safe for sage grouse. Finally, we appreciate the generosity of Dave Bequette who opened up his family ranch for the day, worked side by side the volunteers, and even offered sandwiches.

Please see our related story here that includes a link to a shorter version in the Billings Gazette. View the Field & Stream Video.

Click HERE for more information on marking fences to prevent sage grouse collisions.


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.