Sage grouse is a species that is increasingly in the news in the west lately, and the birds have been on our radar for some time. They were the topic of our November 2015 public meeting, at which biologists from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks presented sage grouse population data, habitat requirements, lek locations, behavior & threats, and management plans. At the same meeting, we learned from the Department of Natural Resource Conservation about the Montana Greater Sage Grouse Stewardship Act, Executive Order 12-2015, and the creation of the Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team (MSGOT). Last year, Montana Legislature appropriated $10 million from the State’s general fund to create a stewardship fund for sage grouse, making grant dollars available for sage grouse habitat restoration/conservation projects. The Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team is responsible for evaluating potential projects and distributing funds.
Big Hole Sage Grouse Working Group
A Big Hole area sage grouse working group has been formed to investigate the status of sage grouse in the Big Hole and begin planning next steps. The group includes partners from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Department of Natural Resource Conservation, the Bureau of Land Management, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Big Hole Watershed Committee. The Big Hole watershed is not core habitat, but some funding may be available for sage grouse-related projects due to the area’s classification as general habitat.
Sage Grouse Resources
For more information about sage grouse, contact Tana Nulph, BHWC Conservation Programs Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 267-3421.