Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Restoring land for sage grouse, cattle and wildlife


Western juniper trees have been steadily encroaching on meadows and valleys in the greater Owyhee County area over the last 50 years, and in the last 10-15 years, it's been getting even more pronounced. As a result, juniper trees are consuming habitat that normally would be used by the greater sage-grouse, wildlife and cattle.

Ranchers, citizens, conservation and government groups are working together to tackle the issue. Collaboration, as they can attest, is key to making a difference in large landscapes such as the Owyhees.

The Owyhees' expansive and beautiful sage brush landscape provides habitat and forage for a variety of Idaho's wildlife and domestic species. For this reason it has drawn attention from a number of groups who want to restore the landscapes' native vegetation. 

In the series "Life on the Range" by Steve Stuebner, TNC Idaho's Art Talsma, spoke about the work being done now on the ground to remove juniper. Talsma works in the Owyhees, a stronghold for sage grouse. "Life on the Range" is sponsored by the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission. 

Check out the video here, and learn more about our work in the Owyhees.

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