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More on Sage Grouse Initiative
by Greg Martin, click here for bio
Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: July 24, 12
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More on Sage Grouse Initiative. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
Yesterday, we talked with USDA Under Secretary for NRCS, Harris Sherman about the Sage Grouse Initiative which has enrolled 462 ranchers, invested $115 million and generated nearly $60 million in partner matches.
SHERMAN: We have broad support from ranchers throughout the west from state governments from stakeholder groups from non-profit groups and it’s just a real model for how the government and the private sector can get together through innovative approaches to create a win-win situation.
Sherman explains some of the details of how the initiative works.
SHERMAN: Part of what we’re doing is we’re trying to focus on those lands which are most important to the species because asa you know the sage grouse habitat covers 11 states and it covers hundreds of millions of acres of land. And we’re trying to focus in on those critical core areas where most of the sage grouse population resides. But we work with ranchers on what we call conservation practices . Some of them are very simple, straight-forward, low-cost efforts, such as marking fences to avoid collisions between the birds and fences.
That involves either adding some sort of reflective material to the fences to make them more visible to the birds or in some cases, completely removing the fences.
SHERMAN: We estimate we are preventing perhaps 800 to 1000 collisions each year with birds and these fences by virtue of installing reflective markers. In certain areas we are removing conifer trees, pinion juniper trees which can invade sage grouse habitat. in other areas we are working with ranchers on prescribed grazing practices where we allow the grasses to remain sufficiently high so that hiding cover can be provided for the species.
They are also working with voluntary conservation easements to protect core habitat areas.
SHERMAN: Or in certain cases we’re simply improving sage grouse habitat by doing restorative measures on the land. I think recently we have worked to restore some 640-thousand acres of sage grouse habitat so those are a few of the practices.
For more information be sure and contact your local NRCS office.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.
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- 01/14/05 Compensation precedent, Part two
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