sage grouse http://wyomingpublicmedia.org en Conservationist Expresses Concern Over Sage Grouse Protections http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/conservationist-expresses-concern-over-sage-grouse-protections <p>The Western Energy Alliance released a report this week on sage grouse protection measures used by the oil and gas industry. Though the report claims that the industry is doing enough to protect grouse, a local conservationist disagrees.</p><p>Erik Molvar is a biologist and campaign director with WildEarth Guardians. He says that the Bureau of Land Management’s own research disputes the WEA findings.</p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:27:12 +0000 Chelsea Biondolillo 61976 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Conservationist Expresses Concern Over Sage Grouse Protections Rangeland Fire In Sage Grouse Core Area http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/rangeland-fire-sage-grouse-core-area <p>With winds and low precipitation causing fire danger to escalate in rangelands around the state, the Bureau of Land Management is keeping a close eye on sage grouse habitat.&nbsp;Senior Resource Advisor Pam Murdock says they’re working hard to control the fires.</p><p>"I know that there are a few going on currently," she says. "We have one, I was just informed of yesterday, that did get ignited over the weekend that was in sage grouse core area up in the Bighorn Basin."</p><p>She says it isn't easy juggling conflicting priorities.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:48:56 +0000 Melodie Edwards 61835 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Rangeland Fire In Sage Grouse Core Area 2015 Appropriations Bill Passes House http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/2015-appropriations-bill-passes-house <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations has approved a budget for the Interior and Environment for 2015, and Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis says, if passed into law, the bill would have a huge impact on Western states like Wyoming.&nbsp;</span></p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 23:39:20 +0000 Melodie Edwards 61661 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org 2015 Appropriations Bill Passes House A Plan of Firsts: Lander Resource Management Plan Tackles Big Picture http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/plan-firsts-lander-resource-management-plan-tackles-big-picture <p>The clock is ticking about whether to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species.&nbsp; Such a listing could all but shut down mineral development in the bird’s habitat.&nbsp; The state has already tackled sage grouse protections.&nbsp; Now it’s the federal government’s turn.&nbsp; It’s been 30 years since the Lander Resource Management Plan was revised.&nbsp; And so the Bureau of Land Management took the opportunity to put more protections in place for the grouse while they were at it.&nbsp;</p> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:04:33 +0000 Melodie Edwards 61211 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org A Plan of Firsts: Lander Resource Management Plan Tackles Big Picture Lander Land Use Plan Balances Community Priorities http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/lander-land-use-plan-balances-community-priorities <p>The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a new plan for land use in the Wind River Basin today/Thursday<span id="yui_3_16_0_1_1403819800833_5376">, which supporters say balances the needs of industry, conservation, and recreation.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The new Resource Management Plan is the result of a cooperative process involving federal, state, and local agencies as well as land owners and recreation enthusiasts.</span></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 22:54:43 +0000 Chelsea Biondolillo 60476 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Lander Land Use Plan Balances Community Priorities New Fracking Project Proposed In Sage Grouse Country http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/new-fracking-project-proposed-sage-grouse-country <p>A 5000-well oil and gas project proposed for the Powder River Basin is drawing sharp criticism from a wildlife advocacy group. &nbsp;Erik Molvar with WildEarth Guardians says the drilling would take place right in the middle of critical sage grouse habitat.</p><p>“Well, the 5000 wells are projected in an area of over a million acres to the north of Douglas, stretching all the way up in the Thunder Basin National Grassland and including several core areas that have been proposed priority habitat for sage grouse,” Molvar says.</p> Tue, 20 May 2014 23:54:52 +0000 Melodie Edwards 58604 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org New Fracking Project Proposed In Sage Grouse Country BLM Plan Would Add Sage Grouse Protections http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/blm-plan-would-add-sage-grouse-protections <p>Sage grouse in Wyoming could get new protections, if a Bureau of Land Management plan is adopted.</p><p>The agency is proposing to cap the amount of disturbance that can happen on public land where the bird lives, and to impose other rules designed to protect sage grouse habitat.</p><p>The BLM’s Lisa Solberg Schwab says part of their plan involves adopting the core area strategy that Wyoming has already established.</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 14:55:10 +0000 Willow Belden 53453 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org BLM Plan Would Add Sage Grouse Protections Sage Grouse Concerns Prompt Changes In Reclamation Regs http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/sage-grouse-concerns-prompt-changes-reclamation-regs <p>When energy development happens on public lands, companies have to reclaim the land. That means restoring the landscape after it’s been disturbed. But exactly what’s <em>required</em> varies from one part of the state to another. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that agencies are making those rules more consistent, in hopes of helping keep sage grouse off the endangered species list.</p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 23:42:58 +0000 Willow Belden 53059 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Sage Grouse Concerns Prompt Changes In Reclamation Regs Federal sage grouse protection plan draws criticism http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/federal-sage-grouse-protection-plan-draws-criticism <div><p>The federal government released a new plan for managing sage grouse habitat in Wyoming on Friday. The Bureau of Land Management says <a href="http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Planning/amendments/sage-grouse.html" target="_blank">the plan</a> will allow for consistent policies across federal and state lands, while protecting the bird from an endangered species listing.</p> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 23:55:53 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 51895 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Federal sage grouse protection plan draws criticism No evidence that sage grouse dislike tall things, report finds http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/no-evidence-sage-grouse-dislike-tall-things-report-finds <p>A new report questions the assumption that sage grouse dislike tall things.</p><p>It’s often assumed that the birds avoid tall structures, such as electrical poles or wind turbines, because they fear that predators could perch on top. But report co-author Karl Kosciuch says that’s not necessarily true. His team reviewed the existing scientific literature about how the birds respond to development, and they found no evidence one way or the other.</p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 00:11:05 +0000 Willow Belden 51510 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org No evidence that sage grouse dislike tall things, report finds Deal renews controversy over sage grouse protections http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/deal-renews-controversy-over-sage-grouse-protections <p>A deal to allow oil and gas development in a sage grouse conservation area near Douglas met considerable resistance&nbsp;when it was announced last month. Environmental groups said it set a dangerous precedent, and showed the state isn&rsquo;t serious about keeping the bird off the endangered species list. The state said it was a necessary compromise that protects sage grouse while respecting private mineral rights.<br /><br />Wyoming Public Radio&rsquo;s Stephanie Joyce takes a look at tensions in the state&rsquo;s sage grouse conservation strategy, five years after its implementation.</p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 15:45:19 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 48185 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Deal renews controversy over sage grouse protections State sanctions drilling in sage grouse habitat http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/state-sanctions-drilling-sage-grouse-habitat <p>After what the state characterized as a knock-down, drag-out fight with Chesapeake Oil, it’s planning to allow drilling in a sage grouse conservation area.</p><p>The protected areas were established by executive order in 2011 in order to conserve critical sage grouse habitat, with the goal of keeping the bird off the endangered species list. The <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/798264-chesapeake-oil-douglas-sage-grouse-plan.html#pages">new plan</a> modifies the protections in an area near Douglas where Chesapeake has oil and gas leases.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 20 Sep 2013 00:34:07 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 47196 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org State sanctions drilling in sage grouse habitat BLM plan seeks to protect sage grouse near Buffalo http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/blm-plan-seeks-protect-sage-grouse-near-buffalo <p>The Bureau of Land Management’s Buffalo office is hoping to ensure more rigorous protections for sage grouse in the area. It’s drafted a new Resource Management Plan – or land use plan – to replace the one that’s been in place since the 1980s.</p><p></p><p>The plan outlines four alternatives. Thomas Bills with the BLM says the agency’s preferred alternative would incorporate the governor’s Core Area strategy, which limits development in prime sage grouse breeding areas.</p> Wed, 18 Sep 2013 13:48:13 +0000 Willow Belden 47096 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org BLM plan seeks to protect sage grouse near Buffalo Researchers try curbing West Nile with fish, to protect sage grouse http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/researchers-try-curbing-west-nile-fish-protect-sage-grouse <p>One of the main things that threatens sage grouse is human development and fragmentation of their habitat. But another big worry is West Nile Virus.</p><p>The disease is carried by mosquitoes, and researchers are now testing a new method for keeping mosquitoes in check. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Brad Fedy, who’s leading the project. He says West Nile Virus is a major concern for sage grouse.</p> Fri, 02 Aug 2013 22:26:26 +0000 Willow Belden 44763 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Researchers try curbing West Nile with fish, to protect sage grouse Researchers see fish as possible tool to protect sage grouse http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/researchers-see-fish-possible-tool-protect-sage-grouse <p>Researchers are testing a new method to keep mosquitoes under control, in order to reduce the risk of sage grouse contracting West Nile Virus.</p><p>They’re introducing non-invasive fat-head minnows into stock ponds in northeastern Wyoming, because the fish like to eat mosquito larvae.</p><p>Brad Fedy is leading the project. He says fish may turn out to be a better solution than traditional larvicides, because you’d only have to introduce them once, rather than spraying an area annually.</p> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 12:14:55 +0000 Willow Belden 44526 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Researchers see fish as possible tool to protect sage grouse Efforts to restore sage grouse habitat move forward http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/efforts-restore-sage-grouse-habitat-move-forward <p>Last year, we reported on a new project to restore sage grouse habitat that’s been disturbed by energy development in the Powder River Basin. The Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other agencies are participating in the effort.</p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 21:48:31 +0000 Willow Belden 42650 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Efforts to restore sage grouse habitat move forward Agencies seek to restore Powder River Basin sage grouse habitat http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/agencies-seek-restore-powder-river-basin-sage-grouse-habitat <p>A project to restore sage grouse habitat in the Powder River Basin is moving forward.</p><p>The Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other agencies are participating. Their goal is to focus on areas with abandoned gas wells and make those areas hospitable for sage grouse again, by planting sage brush and removing roads and power lines.</p><p>The BLM’s Bill Ostheimer says many landowners and local groups have been receptive to the idea. But he says it could be years before sage grouse move back into areas they were displaced from.</p> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 21:48:16 +0000 Willow Belden 42439 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Agencies seek to restore Powder River Basin sage grouse habitat Study examines sage grouse requirements in winter http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/study-examines-sage-grouse-requirements-winter <p>A study by the Wyoming chapter of the Wildlife Society found that sage grouse don’t do well if there’s human activity near their winter habitats.</p><p></p><p>The group’s president, Tony Mong, says it’s well known that sage grouse avoid things like oil and gas wells, but they now know that the birds are also sensitive to people <em>doing things</em> nearby.</p><p>He says that knowledge should guide the energy industry’s activities in sage grouse areas.</p> Wed, 29 May 2013 23:03:27 +0000 Willow Belden 41502 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Study examines sage grouse requirements in winter Report shows sage grouse tolerance for disturbance is very low http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/report-shows-sage-grouse-tolerance-disturbance-very-low <p>A report by the U.S. Geological Survey documents how much human disturbance sage grouse can tolerate, and report co-author Steve Knick says the amount is very low.</p><p></p><p>He says most active leks, or breeding grounds, are in areas where less than three-percent of the land is developed.</p><p>Knick says the study shows that Wyoming is on the right track with its core area policy.</p> Wed, 01 May 2013 23:01:52 +0000 Willow Belden 40157 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Report shows sage grouse tolerance for disturbance is very low Study says sage grouse have very limited tolerance for development http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/study-says-sage-grouse-have-very-limited-tolerance-development <p>A study by the U.S. Geological Survey looks at the ecological conditions that sage grouse need in order to survive, and the amount of human disturbance they can tolerate. We’re joined now by Steve Knick, one of the report’s authors. He says the goal was to determine the basic requirements that sage grouse have.</p><p><a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.557/pdf"><strong>Click here </strong></a>to view the full report.</p> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 22:36:14 +0000 Willow Belden 39921 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Study says sage grouse have very limited tolerance for development New report seeks to help states protect sage grouse http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/new-report-seeks-help-states-protect-sage-grouse <p>The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a report that’s meant to help states figure out how to protect sage grouse and keep them off the endangered species list.&nbsp;</p><p>Bob Budd with the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust helped put the report together. He says the document provides information about the key threats to sage grouse, but leaves it up to states to develop or revise their conservation plans.</p> Fri, 29 Mar 2013 23:17:56 +0000 Willow Belden 38703 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org New report seeks to help states protect sage grouse Ranchers may receive assurances in exchange for sage-grouse conservation http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/ranchers-may-receive-assurances-exchange-sage-grouse-conservation <p></p><p>The&nbsp;U<span style="line-height: 1.5;">S&nbsp;Fish and Wildlife Service has announced&nbsp;a new plan that would give farmers and ranchers certain legal protections, if they undertake sage-grouse conservation efforts.&nbsp;</span></p> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 21:25:24 +0000 Sara Hossaini 37058 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Ranchers may receive assurances in exchange for sage-grouse conservation Researchers study effect of core area policy on species other than sage grouse http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/researchers-study-effect-core-area-policy-species-other-sage-grouse <p>Researchers at the University of Wyoming conducting a study to figure out whether sage grouse core areas provide benefits to other species.</p><p>The group’s Matt Kauffman says it’s commonly assumed that the answer is yes.</p><p>“This is part of what ecologists call the umbrella species concept – that by protecting one species you can protect other species that use a similar habitat,” Kauffman said.</p> Mon, 10 Dec 2012 17:26:43 +0000 Willow Belden & will 33862 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Researchers study effect of core area policy on species other than sage grouse UW Researchers study effects of sage grouse core areas on other species http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/uw-researchers-study-effects-sage-grouse-core-areas-other-species <p>The Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is getting started with a new study about sage grouse core areas. Matt Kauffman heads the group, and he joins us now to talk about the study. Matt, tell us what you’re trying to find out.</p> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 23:27:46 +0000 Willow Belden 33795 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org UW Researchers study effects of sage grouse core areas on other species NRCS offers protections to sage grouse-friendly farming and ranching operations http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/nrcs-offers-protections-sage-grouse-friendly-farming-and-ranching-operations <p>The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are offering a new incentive to get farmers and ranchers to protectcertain species – including sage grouse – on their properties.</p><p>Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Harris Sherman says they want ranchers to do things like shifting their grazing patterns, in order to preserve sage grouse habitat. If a rancher signs on, he or she would get certain protections, if sage grouse end up on the Endangered Species List.</p> Mon, 08 Oct 2012 14:46:36 +0000 Willow Belden 31141 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org NRCS offers protections to sage grouse-friendly farming and ranching operations Report says how to avoid sage grouse listing http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/report-says-how-avoid-sage-grouse-listing <p>Conservation groups are welcoming a federal report spelling out how sage grouse should be managed in 11 Western states to avoid new federal protections.<br>&nbsp;<br>The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's draft report advises the states and federal land management agencies to act immediately to stop the loss of sage grouse habitat and populations.<br>&nbsp;<br>The Fish and Wildlife Service announced in 2010 that sage grouse deserved protection under the Endangered Species Act. The agency pledged to make a final listing decision by late 2015.<br>&nbsp; Sat, 25 Aug 2012 00:02:17 +0000 The Associated Press 29092 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Report says how to avoid sage grouse listing Study maps preferred territory for sage grouse http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/study-maps-preferred-territory-sage-grouse <p>A new study has determined which areas within the Atlantic Rim oil and gas field near Rawlins are most important for sage grouse.</p><p>The study&rsquo;s author, Chris Kirol, was a grad student in the University of Wyoming&rsquo;s Department of Ecosystems Science and Management. He says they put radio collars on sage grouse to track which areas they liked and which areas they avoided.</p> Mon, 06 Aug 2012 18:16:13 +0000 Willow Belden 28060 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Study maps preferred territory for sage grouse Wyomingites asked to report dead sage grouse http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyomingites-asked-report-dead-sage-grouse <p>The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking all Wyoming residents to report dead sage grouse they find so the birds can be tested for West Nile virus.</p><p>Sage grouse have low resistance to the disease and it usually kills infected birds.</p><p>Tom Christiansen with Game and Fish says there is no sign yet of an outbreak in the state this year.A recent limited survey in the Powder River Basin detected only low numbers of a particular type of mosquito known to carry the disease.</p> Fri, 27 Jul 2012 22:24:58 +0000 The Associated Press 27617 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Wyomingites asked to report dead sage grouse Research indicates sage grouse dislike human-made noise http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/research-indicates-sage-grouse-dislike-human-made-noise <p>As we’ve just heard, there’s a lot of concern over declining sage grouse numbers. And a lot of effort is going into keeping the birds from being included on the endangered species list. Part of that effort involves studying which aspects of human activity are most problematic. A new study published in the journal Conservation Biology examines how human-made noise – particularly the noise associated with gas development – affects sage grouse. We’re joined now by Jessica Blickley, one of the authors of the report. Fri, 22 Jun 2012 21:34:31 +0000 Willow Belden 25949 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Research indicates sage grouse dislike human-made noise Game and fish to end Sage Grouse hunting in northeast Wyoming http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/game-and-fish-end-sage-grouse-hunting-northeast-wyoming <p>The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is planning to make most of northeast Wyoming off limits to sage grouse hunting. Tom Christiansen, the agency&rsquo;s sage grouse coordinator, says that&rsquo;s because of public concern about declining populations in the area.</p><p>&ldquo;We do hear concerns about, &lsquo;Well, why are you continuing to hunt when sage grouse populations, especially in some parts of the state, like northeast Wyoming, are declining and are proposed for listing?&rdquo; Christiansen said.</p> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 23:45:34 +0000 Willow Belden 22885 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Game and fish to end Sage Grouse hunting in northeast Wyoming