Financial assistance is available for Oregon ranchers through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to improve the health of private rangelands, while also bolstering habitat for sage grouse and other wildlife.
The Sage Grouse Initiative, started in 2010 to avoid a potential listing of sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act, offers funding and planning for projects such as juniper tree removal, treating invasive grasses, developing new grazing strategies and installing wildlife-friendly livestock watering structures.
The initiative is a partnership between ranchers, agencies, universities, nonprofit groups and businesses to promote wildlife conservation through sustainable ranching. Since it began, the NRCS has invested $27.9 million in the program, assisting 261 ranchers on more than 435,000 acres of rangeland across the state.
The next application deadline is Friday, March 16. For more information and directions on how to apply, contact your local NRCS district office.
More information about the Sage Grouse Initiative can also be found online at www.sagegrouseinitative.com.