The NRCS recently announced that there will be an increase in funding available this year to help Idaho’s farmers and ranchers protect sage-grouse habitat. This is part of the Sage-grouse initiative, which helps farmers and ranchers implement specific conservation practices that will improve sage-grouse habitat and may also improve rangeland conditions.
Producers can signup now and those applications received before April 15 will be ranked in fiscal year 2011.
“The Sage-grouse Initiative supports both sustainable ranching and healthy sage-grouse populations by focusing on improving rangeland conditions,” said Jeff Burwell, Idaho NRCS State Conservationist. “Some of the practices used to improve sage-grouse habitat are the same practices required to maintain healthy grazing land for livestock.”
Last year, NRCS helped to fund projects such as:
- Seeding rangeland to increase availability of sage-grouse food plants and improve livestock forage
- Installing new fencing and water developments to assist grazing management
- Removing juniper trees in key breeding, brood-rearing and wintering sites to restore sage-grouse habitat and increase livestock forage production
- Improving grazing systems to incorporate a rest period to improve sage-grouse cover during the nesting season.
For more information on the initiative visit the NRCS website. To apply for funding, contact Kevin Davidson in the Shoshone field office.