Success on the Range | New Montana Partnership Highlights Benefit of Cooperative Conservation

July 20, 2015

Press Contact: Tim Griffiths, 406.600.3908


The NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative is pioneering a conservation approach that invites cooperation over conflict across the West. Since 2010, SGI has conserved more than 4.4 million acres of sage grouse habitat, and invested a total of $425.5 million of NRCS and partner funds in strategic projects that are good for rangelands and wildlife.

But these numbers dwindle in comparison to the priceless people behind them. The conservation heroes tell the true story at the Sage Grouse Initiative. This story, highlighted in our brand-new report “Success on the Range,” is built on the foundation of partnerships, voluntary cooperation, community support, and win-win agreements that improve wildlife habitat as well as the way of life in the West.

The report was unveiled today in Montana, in conjunction with a landmark agreement signed by Governor Bullock, the NRCS, and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Montana, Inc. Signed in Helena, this unique agreement will streamline and enhance joint efforts to conserve privately owned working rangelands that provide habitat for Montana’s sage grouse.

Over 70 percent of Montana’s sage grouse habitat is found on private or state lands, and the single greatest threat to grouse populations in this region is conversion of native sagebrush grazing land into cultivated crops. SGI’s newest Science to Solutions report, “Reducing Cultivation of Grazing Lands Conserves Sage Grouse,” explores the impacts of this threat, and lists proven solutions to the problem of cropland conversion.

DOWNLOAD the new SGI report, “Success on the Range.”

VIEW the web-friendly version of “Success on the Range”

READ this USDA Blog by Tim Griffiths.

SEE the new infographic, “SGI Recipe for Success.”

LEARN impacts of cropland conversion in our latest Science to Solutions.

DOWNLOAD the NRCS press release.

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.