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Whats Good for Cows is Good for Grouse

For the most part, the same factors that negatively affect sage-grouse also negatively affect the health, productivity, and sustainability of native grazing lands. Therefore, improvements to benefit sage-grouse also benefit grazing lands and the ranches that depend on them. Below are points of mutual interest shared by sage-grouse and livestock.

Beneficial for both

  • Rangeland plant diversity
  • Healthy rangeland
  • A well-designed grazing plan
  • Healthy forb component
  • Perennial native grass cover
  • Weed and invasive species management
  • Removal of encroaching conifer (juniper/Ponderosa pine)
  • Healthy, productive springs and seeps
  • Unfragmented rangeland
  • Healthy, productive sagebrush grassland with a healthy perennial grass understory

Negative for both

  • Overgrazing by livestock
  • Urbanization
  • Range infrastructure developments such as roads or power lines that fragment the range and spread weeds
  • A dominance of club moss and blue grama
  • Stock water tanks that drown wildlife and foul stock water
Photo of healthy sagebrush-bluebunch range.
This native sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass range provides excellent grazing for livestock as well as high quality sage-grouse habitat.
Photo of cows grazing sagebrush range

For more information on sage-grouse contact your local NRCS office
or your local Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office or visit the BLM Web site.