", So far, attempts to reverse the decline of the grouse and the sagebrush ecosystem are a typical mishmash of politics, bureaucracies and dueling science. Sage-grouse conservation happens on the ground. The group drafted its plan in June 1997 - calling for scores of individual projects, from managing noise sources near leks to regulating ORVs, to making presentations to county boards - and is now beginning a review, to be completed by early summer. Grazing is the most contentious of the issues around grouse - and the one many biologists avoid discussing. Credit: USFWS. The full decision can be found in the Federal Register. Want to join the discussion? There are at least 30 varieties of sage bushes alone, ranging from basin big sagebrush to stiff sagebrush to fuzzy sagebrush to dwarf sagebrush - all native to the American West and found nowhere else. Habitat and hunting opportunity to be restored through the efforts of dedicated partnerships like the SGI. The study found nesting success and brood survival was higher in pastures with livestock. A greater sage-grouse male struts for a female. But another major environmental group active in sage grouse conservation, the National Wildlife Federation, doesn't think it's wise or necessary to wield the big stick of the Endangered Species Act. The males show a brilliant white breast and throat. This is the first study to quantify how migratory mule deer benefit from grouse conservation measures, including Wyoming’s sage grouse “core area” policy and conservation easements.The research was funded in large part by the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Sage Grouse Initiative, with additional funding from the Knobloch Family Foundation, Kaplan Family Foundation and Mule Deer Foundation. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK. He tilts his head back, rapidly inflating, bouncing, and deflating the yellow, balloon-like pouches on his chest. Male sage-grouse bird displaying himself, with fanned tail and expanded chest. Fish and Wildlife Service in Grand Junction, 970/243-2778; Mark Salvo, grasslands and deserts advocate, American Lands, 503/978-1054. Wyoming Game and Fish has published the locations of 14 relatively accessible leks around the state. Chemical treatments and brush-beating, traditional efforts to kill sage in favor of grass, do the same. As fire season heats up across this drought-stricken region, Interior Department agencies have rolled out a new strategy that includes pre-positioned air tankers, equipment and crews to respond more quickly to ignitions to keep small fires from getting out of control. Each spring, at dawn, the sagebrush country of western North America fills with a strange burbling sound and an even stranger sight. The Bureau of Land Management also announced a 10-year, $6.5 million commitment to improve grouse habitat on land that it manages. A male greater sage grouse displays for hens in sagebrush steppe habitat in the Big Horn Basin. Steve Bullock today signed an executive order establishing a state program to protect sage-grouse habitat while respecting Montanans' private property rights. For additional information, contact the Field Supervisor for the Montana Ecological Services Field Office at 406-449-5225. Pyron's mother was a teacher and education administrator and she passed on the joy of watching youngsters experience something spectacular in nature for the first time. They’re sage grouse,” I blurted out in elation. Major environmental groups disagree about what strategies should be pursued. New growth didn't have a chance. At the first meeting, 100 people showed up. Copyright © 2020 Sage Grouse Initiative.All rights reserved. More than 40 landowners have already expressed an interest in enrolling. A much larger area of southern Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, and southeast Oregon throughout the Steens, Malheur and Owyhee public lands support these curious prairie grouse, permitting regulated hunting seasons. The grouse also use the meadow to the north of the observation site. Learn more >>, Sage-grouse need large expanses of healthy, unbroken sagebrush habitat. Nevada land managers discuss a post-fire rehablitation project for greater sage-grouse on Marsh Creek Bench, Nevada. "We have always believed there is no inherent contradiction between production and conservation," said rancher Pat O'Toole. Male sage grouse have danced at leks across their 173 million-acre, 11-state range for hundreds of thousands of years. Have you ever seen a sage-grouse strut? Only about 4,000 of them survive, about half in the Gunnison Valley. Now, a new live-streaming video offers the public a chance to see this amazing display without having to sneak out into the sagebrush in the frigid half-light before dawn. Instead,  the performance can now be enjoyed, coffee in hand, from the comfort of home by visiting: nature.org . Best viewing times are 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. PST.  Read more », Tags: Top News, Bi-State, Nevada, National partner, RENO, NV – The U.S. The Service’s decision follows an unprecedented conservation partnership across the western United States that has significantly reduced threats to the greater sage-grouse across 90 percent of the species’ breeding habitat. But they weren't adapting; they were persevering ineffectively in the face of terrible disturbance. Overhead, hundreds of crows and ravens circle near the Tomichi Creek lek, attracted to the county landfill built during the 1980s on the far side of the uranium dump. They puff themselves up, as seen in the picture above, displaying spiky tail-feather fans, feathery crowns and prominent olive or yellow gular sacs — twin balloons of skin that they inflate, deflate and brush with their wings. Few people today understand that a healthy patch of sagebrush is rich with plants and wildlife. With assistance from the Sage Grouse Initiative, a partnership funded by Natural Resources Conservation Service, Painter joined more than 700 ranchers who have voluntarily enrolled in grazing improvements, conservation easements and conifer removal projects across 11 western states. "One landowner converting a single square mile into new Ninety-nine percent of the Lander area is habitat for the species and 70 percent of the planning area is identified as priority habitat warranting special protection. The Sweetwater River Conservancy will manage a vast expanse of central Wyoming for sage-grouse, mule deer and other wildlife, allowing energy development and other economic activities to proceed on lands elsewhere in the state. or anything. racist or sexually-oriented language. Fish and Wildlife Service, 585 Shephard Way, Suite 1, Helena, MT 59601. The Army Corps of Engineers “concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest.”. However, Henson encouraged his federal counterparts strengthen protections in several areas and clarify how much disturbance the agency would allow in the 70 percent of state-occupied sage-grouse range that the BLM manages.