NFWF Announces New Sagebrush Landscapes Funding Opportunity

Sagebrush landscape including a green riparian ribbon in Montana. Credit: iStock

May 22, 2017

Conserving America’s vast western range — including sagebrush and wet meadows — is vital for sustaining rural agricultural economies and wildlife populations. Photo credit: iStock

Sagebrush Landscape Program will support collaborative conservation efforts as well as wet meadow habitat restoration

Photo by Brianna Randall

Collaboration is key for conserving the vast sagebrush landscape. Photo by Brianna Randall

The NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative is thrilled to share a new opportunity aimed at helping conserve sagebrush rangeland in the West, provided by our partner, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Today, NFWF kicked off the pilot year of its Sagebrush Landscapes Program to address bottlenecks in sagebrush conservation and to promote healthy rural agricultural economies in the American West.

The Sagebrush Landscape Program is now requesting funding proposals for projects that either: (1) accelerate cross-boundary land management collaborations, or (2) implement mesic area restoration efforts. This new program is a partnership between NFWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service. Learn more below about the key conservation strategies for the program.

Wet meadow habitat enhancement and restoration

Mesic habitat provides valuable "Emerald Isles" in the sagebrush desert. Photo by Brianna Randall.

Mesic habitat provides valuable “Emerald Isles” in the arid American West. Photo by Brianna Randall.

Found across the entire sagebrush landscape, wet meadow habitats make up less than two percent of the landscape and are critically important to a wide array of species including pronghorn, mule deer and sage grouse.

Numerous scientific publications support mesic habitats’ importance for wildlife and livestock production, as they are biodiversity hotspots. Wet meadows have been identified as high-priority by many partners, including the Sage Grouse Initiative.

Throughout sagebrush country, degraded wet meadows are a significant resource concern. NFWF investments will help advance awareness, technical resources, and localized action for the conservation of these important habitats.

The “all lands” management approach

Throughout much of the West, land ownership is spread across adjacent private, state, and federal parcels. As a result, implementing a landscape approach to conservation efforts can be challenging. NFWF will provide additional capacity in areas that can benefit from cross-jurisdictional project management that further conservation efforts for sagebrush landscapes and its associated species.

How to apply for funding

The Sagebrush Landscapes Program will award approximately $450,000 in grants ranging from $50,000 – $250,000. Projects require 1:1 non-federal match. Priority will be given to sagebrush conservation projects in: Western Colorado, Idaho, Northern Utah, Western Wyoming, Southwest Montana and Northeast Nevada. In addition, NFWF will give preference to projects that are cost-effective, sustainable approaches that exhibit a high likelihood of success.

Pre-proposals are due June 15. Contact Seth Gallagher, NFWF Program Manager, for more information: 303-222-6483 or 

See NFWF’s Request for Proposals >>

Read NFWF’s applicant tip sheet >>

Learn more about SGI’s mesic conservation >>


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.