Where Can Sage-Grouse Live?
Why good grazing practices and more state and federal land-use regulations are essential for keeping these beleaguered birds off the endangered species list.
by Tom Dickson, Editor, Montana Outdoors
November/December 2013 Issue
“I just received my brand new Montana Outdoors magazine and was extremely impressed with your Sage Grouse article. You brilliantly weaved a very complex situation into a fabulous easy to understand story that will certainly yield increased awareness and support for the cause. Along with the great story, the photos, layout and cover are striking. Hats off!” – Tim Griffiths, SGI national coordinator, NRCS
On a gravel county road 40 miles northeast of Roundup, a sea of rolling sagebrush “steppe,” or grasslands, extends to the horizon in every direction. This vast landscape I am driving through is a stronghold of Montana’s sage-grouse population, the nation’s second largest.
Lorelle Berkeley, a Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks research biologist heading a long-term study on sage-grouse, leads me into a tract of sagebrush she says is ideal nesting habitat for the large grasslands bird. The silvery-green sagebrush plants here are densely scattered across miles of shortgrass prairie. They create what biologists sometimes call a prairie “forest,” the 3-foot sagebrush acting as trees. READ MORE
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