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Science to Soluntions: Grazing Management In Perspective: A Compatible Tool For Sage Grouse Conservation Public Deposited

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  • Research evaluating effects of livestock grazing on greater sage-grouse nest survival suggests that a variety of locally-appropriate range management strategies support grouse populations. A new Montana study comparing effects of specialized grazing systems on ranches enrolled in the NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) to ranches not enrolled in SGI grazing programs found no difference in nest survival: in both cases, long-term nest success (40-49%) was consistent with the rangewide survival rates of a stable sage grouse population. Researchers also reported heights of live and senesced grasses that were within a half-inch of each other on SGI-enrolled ranches versus non-enrolled ranches. The take-home message is that, done sustainably, grazing is a highly compatible land use for maintaining sage grouse populations, and is wholly preferred over habitat-destroying alternatives like cropland cultivation or subdivision development. Farm Bill-funded assistance through SGI to enhance grazing practices may contribute to protecting habitat by keeping ranching operations profitable and sustainable.
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  • Sage Grouse Initiative. 2017. Grazing Management In Perspective: A Compatible Tool For Sage Grouse Conservation. Science to Solutions Series Number 14. Sage Grouse Initiative. 4pp.
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  • 4 pages


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