North Dakota Outdoors: Restoring Sage Grouse Habitat
July 24, 2014
North Dakota Outdoors featured one of the Sage Grouse Initiative rancher success stories in its July, 2014 issue, authored by Steve Stuebner. Rancher Rob Brooks and partners are planting sagebrush on important rangelands for sage grouse and other wildlife. SGI appreciates its strong partnership with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and all the great work the agency does on behalf of sage grouse habitat conservation and restoration. (To read our other rancher success stories published so far: See these links:
Oregon Rancher Gary Bedortha Removes Junipers to Create a Safe Haven for Sage Grouse
Washington: Big-Scale Conservation Starts at Rancher Allen Miller’s Kitchen Table (published first in Working Ranch Magazine).
Download the full North Dakota Outdoors July Issue.
Read about rancher Rob Brooks:
On a cool October day, a westerly wind made waves in thrifty, knee-high grasslands as it blew across the rolling hills of the Brooks Ranch, near Rhame, North Dakota. Located in the extreme southwest corner of the state, the Brooks Ranch lies on the eastern fringe of native sage grouse range in North America.
Sage grouse populations are declining – most recently because of a big hit from West Nile virus. But historically, there were dozens of sage grouse leks (breeding areas) in southwest North Dakota. Another limiting factor is the loss of Wyoming big sagebrush habitat in this region of the mixed grass prairie, which straddles the nexus between shrub-steppe habitat and the Dakota grasslands. Local ranchers like Rob Brooks are working together with local, state, and federal agencies to restore sage grouse habitat by planting Wyoming big sage, Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis, on private lands.
READ MORE (story here from SGI website)
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.