Sage Whiz Quiz | Water In The West

Sagebrush landscape including a green riparian ribbon in Montana. Credit: iStockSeptember 28, 2018

Sagebrush landscape in Montana, including a green ribbon of precious wet habitat. Credit: iStock

Fun Facts 

Gunnison sage-grouse are found only in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. The birds' life cycles and habitat needs are highly compatible with grazing. This photo shows the town of Gunnison behind cattle in a wet meadow in sagebrush country. Photo: Shawn Conner

Cattle forage in a wet meadow in sagebrush country. Photo: Shawn Conner

1. Wet, green places where water meets land are called mesic areas.

2. In the arid western U.S., many animals, including livestock and sage grouse, rely on the  green groceries found in mesic areas when uplands dry out.

3. Protecting and restoring emerald islands in the desert provides drought insurance, boosts forage productivity, and improves rangelands for people and wildlife. 

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Learn More

Sagebrush country sustains 350 species as well as hundreds of rural communities and our way of life in the American West. The Sage Grouse Initiative works with ranchers on conservation strategies that benefit working lands and wildlife.

Through NRCS, we provide technical and financial assistance for strategic practices that help landowners scale-up conservation of the West’s precious water resources. Visit the SGI Web App to visualize and calculate changes in mesic resources over time.

How Do We Find (And Protect) Precious Wet Places In The West?

What Is Low-Tech Stream Restoration?

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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.