Twenty-one California ranchers in Lassen and Modoc Counties have signed up for SGI programs to remove juniper that has encroached on sage grouse habitat and reduced forage for livestock as well. “We’ve participated in NRCS programs for over 20 years,” says Darrell Wood of Wood Ranches. “So when I heard about the Sage Grouse Initiative here, I was the first one to sign up.”
Some SGI participants are chipping juniper for use as biofuel to produce electric power. This led to a welcome additional benefit during last summer’s wildfire season, when fire damaged PG&E power transmission lines in the Feather River Canyon and caused recurring power outages. To turn the lights back on in Susanville, the local utility district switched to the nearby Honey Lake power biomass/geothermal plant. This provided 30 megawatts of electricity, nearly half generated from juniper chips removed as part of the Sage Grouse Initiative.
Read the Range Magazine feature, “Win Win. Keeping the Lights On, Thanks to Juniper.”
Media Contact: Anita Brown; Public Affairs Director, NRCS California; 530.792.5644 | Anita.Brown@ca.usda.gov.