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Bringing Healthy Sagebrush Communities Full Circle

Sage Grouse Story Map Web Header 2

We’ve all heard the saying: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander – meaning, what’s good for one type is equally good for another. In sagebrush country of the West, that sentiment has rung true for another feathered friend: the greater sage-grouse. We say, “what’s good for the bird is good for the herd.” 

Sage grouse inhabit sagebrush country – large, intact and mostly treeless landscapes with sagebrush, native grasses and wildflowers. This working landscape is one of the most imperiled in the United States. At one time, it spread over 240,000 square miles, but today has shrunk to almost half.

Across the West, ranchers are stepping up to voluntarily conserve habitat for sage grouse while also benefiting sagebrush communities, local rural economies, working ranches, wildlife, soil and rangeland health.

USDA’s NRCS, through its Sage Grouse Initiative  (SGI), is there to empower ranchers to make well-balanced improvements on their ranching operations that are good for wildlife living in sagebrush country, as well as their business’s bottom line.

To highlight the effectiveness and on-going success of this multi-faceted working lands approach, we introduce the “Healthy Sagebrush Communities” poster, available for the public to download now. It's also viewable as part of a multimedia story below:

The poster and multimedia story highlight threats to the bird and its habitat, as well as landowners, can help.

Threats include: 

  • Encroaching conifers;
  • Tree-perching raptors; and
  • Invasive grasses.  

Ranchers can help by:

  • Restoring and protecting mesic meadows; 
  • Marking fences; 
  • Protecting lands through conservation easements;
  • Using prescribed grazing; and
  • Removing conifers.

Through SGI, NRCS, its partners and nearly 1,500 ranchers have worked together to conserve 5.6 million acres of sagebrush since 2010. Each day, ranchers are making conservation improvements to their land that are good for livestock, sage grouse and 350-plus other species that rely on the sagebrush landscape. 

Want to learn more?

Healthy Sagebrush Communities Poster