Washington's 2013 Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI)

Washington's Sage Grouse Initiative  (SGI)

Updated 01/23/2013

Application ranking cut-off date for the FY 2013 EQIP Sage Grouse Initiative are 12/21/12 and 2/15/2013.
Additional ranking dates may be offered in FY2013.

It’s good for grouse, grazers and your grazing business! Image: Sage Grouse

Ranchers in parts of central and eastern Washington may be eligible to receive financial assistance to help protect sage grouse habitat and improve range conditions for their livestock. Through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Sage Grouse Initiative and the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) initiative, ranchers have options available for existing grazed ranchlands and expired CRP lands. The initiative is limited to sage grouse habitat areas of central and eastern Washington.

Existing grazed ranchlands have two different grazing options. Both grazing options have cost-share available for cross-fencing, water developments, and conducting grazing management for a maximum of three years.

View the Sage Grouse Priority Zone map.

Rest-and-Deferment Option

The purpose of the rest-and-deferment option is to improve cover. This option has three separate components – grazing management, monitoring, and rest-and-deferment. Payments are $12.90/acre for up to 3 years. There is a $25,000 cap per year.

Plant Health Option

The purpose of the second grazing option is to improve plant health. The plant health option has two components– grazing management and monitoring. Payments are $2.04/acre for up to 3 years.

By deferring grazing, or not grazing certain areas at all for a year, sage grouse habitat can be protected during the critical mating and nesting period. The payments made possible through the Sage Grouse Initiative are designed to offset the costs associated with deferring grazing on that land.

Other Conservation Options

In addition, other practices to improve sage grouse habitat may be applied for with funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) initiative.

Such practices include: Retrofitting existing fences to increase their visibility and reduce sage-grouse mortality; installing escape ramps for wildlife in watering facilities; remove structures used as predator perches; improve rangeland species diversity via seeding; riparian improvement to increase brood survival rates.

Sage Grouse Outreach Materials

Sage Grouse Initiative factsheet (PDF; 2 MB)

Sage Grouse Initiative | A non-regulatory success story

More information on other EQIP conservation options.

Contact your local USDA-NRCS Service Center Office for more information regarding the EQIP program and application process.

For more information on the Sage Grouse Initiative contact;
Kelli Bartholomew
Range & Wildlife Conservationist
2145 Basin St. SW, Suite D
Ephrata, WA 98823
(509) 754-3023 x1120
Working in partnership with Pheasants Forever, NRCS, WA Fish & Wildlife, IWJV and US Fish & Wildlife Service