SGI Featured Friend | Bishop Field Office BLM

July 29, 2015

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“The Bi-State conservation effort is the real deal. It’s inspiring to work with partners willing to work across traditional political boundaries to conserve the western landscape we all cherish.”  – Steve Nelson

Making boundaries disappear to benefit birds

On the California-Nevada state line, a genetically-distinct population of greater sage-grouse once faced a precarious future. Today, that’s changed.

The conservation success story in the Bi-State region is due in large part to partners like the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office, which recognized long ago that birds and habitats don’t stop at political boundaries.

The Bishop Field Office is a leader in collaborative conservation, working for decades on innovative projects to protect sage grouse and their habitat. Sherri Lisius, a BLM field biologist, believes that the recipe for success in the Bi-State area is the result of 1) working beyond jurisdictional boundaries, 2) using science and site-specific data to prioritize projects, and 3) supportive landowners.

“The ranchers here are all in. They work alongside us to improve the land,” she says.

The Bodie Hills of eastern California is core habitat for sage grouse conservation in the Bi-State area.

The Bodie Hills of eastern California is core habitat for sage grouse conservation in the Bi-State area.

Conservation projects in the region are prioritized using telemetry data from radio-collared birds, vegetation data, and nest success data, which inform a habitat- and population-based planning tool developed by USGS scientists that helps target conservation work in the places that will provide the most benefit.

The Sage Grouse Initiative has partnered with the Bishop Field Office and other cooperators in the Bi-State area on habitat restoration projects such as conifer removal, improved grazing management, and fence marking. Recently, these partners removed conifers on several thousand acres of tree-encroached sagebrush habitat on both public and private lands in the Green Greek area near Bridgeport, California.

Steve Nelson, field manager at the Bishop Field Office, holds a sage grouse captured for research purposes.

Steve Nelson, field manager at the Bishop Field Office, holds a sage grouse captured for research purposes.

Meet the Bishop Field Office

The Bishop Field Office cares for a unique vestige of wild California, emphasizing conservation, education and partnerships. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of over 750,000 acres of BLM administered public land in the Eastern Sierra region. The Bishop Field Office emphasizes collaborative, community-based conservation and stewardship, as well as inter-agency coordination and cooperation to fulfill our mission.

Role With Sage Grouse Initiative

As the steward of more than half of all remaining sagebrush habitat in the United States, the BLM is playing a leading role in land management practices that conserve sage grouse The Bishop Field Office is working with SGI and other partners in the Bi-State area of eastern California and western Nevada to implement on-the-ground projects that conserve the Bi-State distinct population of greater sage-grouse.

Contact

BLM Bishop FF pic

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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.

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