Idaho’s Pioneer Alliance & Pheasants Forever Juniper Project Benefit Sage Grouse
May 13, 2014
In a continuing series of articles, Capital Press has published two more articles on the Sage Grouse Initiative from last week’s Twin Falls, Idaho Meeting.
(Photo: Bas Hargrove, senior policy advisor for The Nature Conservancy, located in Boise, Idaho, speaks about Pioneers Alliance and its efforts to secure conservation easements in south-central Idaho during a Sage Grouse Initiative team workshop in Twin Falls last week. Photo by Carol Ryan Dumas, courtesy Capital Press)
Pioneers Alliance Conserves Working Land
The story of ranchers teaming up to conserve their large landscapes in the Pioneer Mountains (between Sun Valley and Craters of the Moon) puts faces and places to the statistics of conservation easements and acreages protected. As a direct result of SGI, conservation easements have reduced subdivision and sodbusting threats on more than 381,000 acres in 11 western states. Fragmentation of habitat is the overarching threat to sage grouse and the SGI easements are working in tandem with state and federal policy for maximum benefit to the birds.
Today, 80,000 acres worth of easements keep working lands free of development in the Pioneer Mountains, and play a pivotal role in the future for sage grouse and ranching there. Read the story by Carol Dumas Ryan published May 13.
Read related stories on the Pioneer Alliances specific to sage grouse conservation and the Sage Grouse Initiative: Sun Valley Magazine Blog (Saving Sage Grouse: Local Ranchers and Conservationists are Teaming Up). Idaho Magazine: (Unlikely Allies: In Blaine County Conservationists and Ranchers Join to Protect Wildlife and Rural Business)
Working across boundaries of public and private lands can achieve big results for a bird that requires big landscapes. One of the best examples comes from the sage grouse strongholds near Burley, Idaho, where multiple agencies are working together with Pheasants Forever to remove invasive junipers. Read the story by Carol Ryan Dumas published May 13.
For a related story on the Burley project, please see: BLM Idaho Nominates Burley Landscape Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration Project
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.