Sage grouse conservation results and stories in SGI’s Oct-Dec 2014 Report
February 4, 2015
Each quarter, the Sage Grouse Initiative shares the latest conservation gains, scientific findings, and communications efforts of our 1,000+ field partners. Collectively, we call these partners the Strategic Watershed Action Team.
The report from October through December of 2014 sums up the tangible results of the Action Team, and includes stories and statistics from partners who are working with landowners in sage grouse strongholds in 11 western states. By working with partners, the NRCS has been able to successfully accelerate the pace of sage grouse conservation and leverage Farm Bill funds into more boots on the ground for wildlife: every $1 partners invest results in $69 put into habitat improvement!
This report shows that partner staff across the West have helped plan or implement:
- 1,880,714 acres of rangeland improvement to increase sage grouse hiding cover during nesting season. Additional grass cover is expected to increase sage grouse populations by eight to ten percent.
- 226,265 acres of conifer removal in key nesting, brood-rearing, and wintering habitats. Removing encroaching conifers from sagebrush rangelands eliminates tall structures in otherwise suitable habitat. As birds recolonize former habitats, increased bird abundance is anticipated.
- 153.5 miles of “high-risk” fence to be marked or removed near leks. Marking fences is expected to reduce sage grouse fence collisions by 83%.
Read more about the latest accomplishments of the SGI Science Watershed Action Team.
To read past SGI reports, visit our Science & Policy page and scroll down.
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.