More targeted treatments could benefit threatened birds
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Post-fire rehabilitation work in the Great Basin’s sagebrush ocean isn’t doing much to help greater sage-grouse, USGS and U.S. Forest Service scientists found in a new study.
The research team took a close look at areas eight to 20 years after seeding efforts, pointing out that such restoration projects could, in theory, be used to improve sage grouse habitat — but only if the right types of seeds are planted.
Sage-grouse tend to use areas with a mixture of dwarf sagebrush and Wyoming big sagebrush, native grasses, minimal human development, and minimal non-native plants. Most post-fire restoration projects are were designed to mitigate the effects of fire on soil and vegetation — but they provide an opportunity to reverse habitat degradation for sage-grouse, a species being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act.