NRCS Field Staff Earns Top Award from Pheasants Forever
Alexis Collins, Public Affairs Specialist
September 24, 2013 - Farm Bill biologist Scott Scroggie earned the prestigious “Acre Maker” award from Pheasants Forever at a recent national staff meeting in Estes Park, Colorado. Scroggie’s award recognizes his outstanding leadership, dedication, and passion leading to significant sage grouse habitat accomplishments around Burley, Idaho.
Scroggie played a key role in a multi-million dollar juniper removal partnership project to restore more than 32,000 acres of sagebrush habitat to benefit sage grouse. The project covers juniper removal on both private and public land. Pheasants Forever sponsors the project which is funded in part by the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Sage Grouse Initiative.
“Scott spent some 40 consecutive days on foot overseeing contractors in rugged western landscapes often in near freezing temperatures to see this project through,” said Sam Lawry, Pheasants Forever Western Regional Director. “He became the real expert on juniper control and is known for his positive “can do” attitude with agencies, contractors, and landowners.”
Scroggie began his Sage Grouse Initiative career in Ely, Nevada, in 2012, and ten months later transferred to Burley as an SGI Range Conservationist. On his first day, he took on the role of project officer for the juniper removal partnership. In addition to NRCS funding, support comes from Pheasants Forever, Bureau of Land Management, and Idaho Fish and Game.
Scroggie is one of about 100 Farm Bill biologists working in Pheasants Forever partnership positions. Farm Bill biologists assist landowners in designing, developing, and funding habitat improvements on private lands. Through a unique partnership, Farm Bill biologists are located in local USDA service centers in priority habitat areas throughout the pheasant range.
Seven of the Pheasants Forever biologists are dedicated to the Sage Grouse Initiative. They are part of a team of 24 SGI field staff working with landowners in 11 westerb states to put conservation projects on the ground. In 2011, the Natural Resources Conservation Service teamed up with the Intermountain West Joint Venture (a bird habitat partnership group) and more than 30 partners to expand field delivery in rural sage grouse strongholds.
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