SGI SWAT NRCS Quarterly Report: October-December 2013

Additional field capacity support provided by SWAT partner positions across the West has essentially enabled NRCS to double the amount SGI conservation. Partner staffs have helped plan or implement:

  • 936,483 acres of rangeland improvement to increase sage grouse hiding cover during nesting season. Additional grass cover is expected to increase sage grouse populations by 8-10%.
  • 174,504 acres of conifer removal in key nesting, brood-rearing, and wintering habitats. Removing encroaching conifers from sagebrush rangelands eliminates tall structures in otherwise suitable habitat. As birds re-colonize former habitats, increased bird abundance is anticipated.
  • 115 miles of “high risk” fence near leks to be marked or removed. Marking fences is expected to reduce sage-grouse fence collisions by 83%.