Sunday, September 11, 2016

Protecting Sage Grouse Habitat Benefits People

Your intrepid reporter with Annie the Wirehair doin' what we love best...huntin' sage chickens.
"One of the strongest points sportsmen can make in arguing for regulations protecting fish and wildlife habitat is that when critters have healthy homes, so do humans.

"The latest example is science showing that preserving healthy sage brush habitat in the semi-arid west not only benefits wildlife like sage grouse and grazing acres for livestock, but it also improves late-season water availability for all living things, including people.

"That’s the take from a review of USDA research done by the Science for Solutions program, run by the Sage Grouse Initiative. That’s the coalition of private landowners, state and federal agencies, and conservation groups that has been opening eyes with their successful efforts to keep that species from the being listed as threatened or endangered.

"A key finding: a sagebrush-dominated watershed holds water in snow drifts an average of nine days longer than one dominated by juniper trees. And stopping the incursion of junipers is one of the SGI’s primary goals. Of course, it’s been the fashion in the last decade or so for some western politicians to sell the idea that any government regulation to protect fish and wildlife hurts landowners and other folks. So this report provides yet another handy reply to that specious argument.

"Another would be to suggest a reading of Tim Egan’s “The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl.” There is no better example of what can happen to entire landscapes when profit is the only consideration."

Courtesy Bob Marshall, Field and Stream Conservation Blog...

Stay tuned for more...