conifer removal

We provide scientific reports, project profiles, technical tools, videos, photos, field guides, and links that tell the story of how cooperative conservation is making a difference for working lands and wildlife across the West.

Songbird field study backs win-win results of “umbrella species” habitat management
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Songbird field study backs win-win results of “umbrella species” habitat management

Researcher Elise Zarri spent four summers studying how songbirds responded to conifer removal targeted at sage grouse. We sat down with her and Katie Benzel, a biologist with ...
Who Fits Under the Sage Grouse Umbrella?
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Who Fits Under the Sage Grouse Umbrella?

WLFW science shows that umbrella species management benefits non-target species that have similar habitat use as target ...
Visual analysis shows tree expansion across Montana rangelands since 1950s
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Visual analysis shows tree expansion across Montana rangelands since 1950s

New mapping application shows where tree expansion is happening in Montana through easy-to-see, interactive comparisons of historical and modern aerial ...
Where trees meet sage: Striking a balance between sage grouse and pinyon jay needs
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Where trees meet sage: Striking a balance between sage grouse and pinyon jay needs

Research from two papers helps managers balance conservation to benefit imperiled sagebrush and woodland birds ...
Podcast: Part 2 of “Defend the Core” Strategy for Invasive Plants
Podcast

Podcast: Part 2 of “Defend the Core” Strategy for Invasive Plants

WLFW's Jeremy Maestas and Dirac Twidwell join the Art of Range podcast for part two of a two-part discussion of Defend the Core, a proactive management strategy defending ...
Ask an Expert | The Green Glacier: What is Conifer Encroachment and Why is it Bad?
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Ask an Expert | The Green Glacier: What is Conifer Encroachment and Why is it Bad?

Learn about the "Green Glacier," the slow-moving expansion of conifer trees across western rangelands, in this Ask an Expert with NRCS's Jeremy ...
Sage Grouse Populations Grow Faster After Tree Removal
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Sage Grouse Populations Grow Faster After Tree Removal

New study shows that sage grouse population growth rates are 12% higher following long-term conifer ...
A Landowner’s Journey to Using Prescribed Fire – Repost – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
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A Landowner’s Journey to Using Prescribed Fire – Repost – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Jim Jenkins worked to remove eastern redcedar trees from his Nebraska ranch for years, with limited success. Then he learned about how prescribed fire could do the work for ...
Success Story | Innovative Small Business Owner Integral to Restoring Grazing Lands
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Success Story | Innovative Small Business Owner Integral to Restoring Grazing Lands

Meet Cecil Swaggart, an innovative small business owner whose expertise is advancing sagebrush restoration in the ...
Quantifying Outcomes Improves Conservation Effectiveness
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Quantifying Outcomes Improves Conservation Effectiveness

Since 2012, Working Lands for Wildlife has partnered with the Conservation Effects Assessment Project to co-produce 37 peer-reviewed studies that measure conservation ...
Cutting to the Chase: Long-Term Success of Conifer Removal Depends on Both Cutting and Burning
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Cutting to the Chase: Long-Term Success of Conifer Removal Depends on Both Cutting and Burning

Ask an Expert | How to use cutting and burning to most effectively restore sagebrush ecosystems experiencing conifer ...
Sage Grouse Populations Grow When Conifers are Removed
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Sage Grouse Populations Grow When Conifers are Removed

Ask an Expert - Andrew Olsen explains his research that shows sage grouse populations rise 12% following sustained and targeted conifer ...
Big Picture of Woodland Management in Sagebrush Country
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Big Picture of Woodland Management in Sagebrush Country

Science to Solutions - New research highlights reduction and expansion of conifer encroachment in sagebrush ...
Woody Invasion Impacts Water on Great Plains
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Woody Invasion Impacts Water on Great Plains

Science to Solutions - New research details impacts to water from encroaching eastern redcedar and other conifers on landscapes in the Great Plains. Similar impacts occur on ...
Conservation Insight Report Confirms Benefits of Conifer Removal
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Conservation Insight Report Confirms Benefits of Conifer Removal

New report from the Conservation Effects Assessment Project confirms multiple benefits of removing encroaching ...
BEEF Magazine | Thomas Brothers Make The Ground Better In Idaho
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BEEF Magazine | Thomas Brothers Make The Ground Better In Idaho

By Brianna Randall | Partnering with the USDA-led Sage Grouse Initiative helps young ranchers improve the land for both sage grouse and ...
Montana Ranchers Improve Sage Grouse Habitat And Reduce Fire Risk
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Montana Ranchers Improve Sage Grouse Habitat And Reduce Fire Risk

By Hayden Nelson, SGI Range Conservationist, Roundup, Montana NRCS Field Office | Landowners are partnering with the Sage Grouse Initiative to restore sagebrush habitat and ...
New Science: When Trees Are Cut, Grasses & Shrubs Return
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New Science: When Trees Are Cut, Grasses & Shrubs Return

Research shows that conifers decrease the native sagebrush grasses and shrubs that wildlife and livestock rely on, and confirms that forage comes back when trees are ...
New Framework Helps Plan Next Generation Of Sagebrush Restoration
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New Framework Helps Plan Next Generation Of Sagebrush Restoration

Innovative new research on conifer removal spans the life cycle of sage grouse, helping managers increase the efficiency of future work to restore sagebrush ...
Latest Science Reveals Most Effective Conifer Removal Treatments
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Latest Science Reveals Most Effective Conifer Removal Treatments

New research on conifer cutting and prescribed burning helps resource managers and landowners plan sagebrush conservation projects that deliver the best results for the bird ...
New Science: Sage Grouse Population Increases When Western Juniper Pushed Back
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New Science: Sage Grouse Population Increases When Western Juniper Pushed Back

A new study funded in part by the NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative found that survival rates of both female sage grouse and their nests increased where encroaching juniper ...
Now Available! Online Replay Of Scientific Presentations On Woodland Expansion
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Now Available! Online Replay Of Scientific Presentations On Woodland Expansion

Watch free 20-minute presentations featuring the latest science on how removing invading conifers boosts water availability, forage production, and grouse ...
Conifer Removal Boosts Sage Grouse Success
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Conifer Removal Boosts Sage Grouse Success

New research shows that 86% of hens avoided nesting in sagebrush habitat invaded by conifers. Luckily, the studies also show that removing conifers in otherwise high-quality ...
Science Reveals Sage Advice: Cut (the Right) Trees to Save Bird and Herd
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Science Reveals Sage Advice: Cut (the Right) Trees to Save Bird and Herd

New research shows that removing conifers can restore habitat for at-risk grouse as well as improve water availability and forage production for ...
Rangeland Science Journal Publishes Special Issue On Reducing Woodland Expansion
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Rangeland Science Journal Publishes Special Issue On Reducing Woodland Expansion

The latest research -- published in this month's special issue of SRM's Rangeland Ecology & Management science journal -- shows the benefits of removing conifers for grouse, ...
Oregon Rancher Mike Greeley Enhances Mahogany Mountain For The Bird And The Herd
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Oregon Rancher Mike Greeley Enhances Mahogany Mountain For The Bird And The Herd

Rancher Mike Greeley uses conservation-minded management to sustain his working lands in eastern Oregon for wildlife and livestock. Check out this video of Mike on his ...
New Research Finds That Sage Grouse Prefer Nesting In Conifer-Free Landscapes
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New Research Finds That Sage Grouse Prefer Nesting In Conifer-Free Landscapes

Scientists tracked sage grouse nest success in southern Oregon, and found that hens avoided sites where conifer cover exceeded 3% within 800m of their ...
Sagebrush Songbirds Under the Sage Grouse Umbrella
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Sagebrush Songbirds Under the Sage Grouse Umbrella

New songbird maps provide tools to help expand the benefits of sage grouse conservation to more wildlife species in the sagebrush community. Learn more from our latest Science ...
The Tree that Ate the West | bioGraphic Magazine
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The Tree that Ate the West | bioGraphic Magazine

by Rebecca Heisman,bioGraphic | When mature juniper cover reaches just 4 percent—picture taking a standard checkerboard and filling in just two and a half of the ...
Report: Maintaining Sagebrush-Covered Landscapes Keeps Water on the Land for Ranchers and Wildlife
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Report: Maintaining Sagebrush-Covered Landscapes Keeps Water on the Land for Ranchers and Wildlife

by Justin Fritscher | Removing invading conifer trees improves the health of sagebrush ecosystems, providing better habitat for wildlife and better forage for livestock. And ...
Rockin’ TD Ranch Champions Rangeland Conservation in Nevada
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Rockin’ TD Ranch Champions Rangeland Conservation in Nevada

Tony and Diane Stobiecki partner with the Sage Grouse Initiative to improve habitat for wildlife and their ranch's bottom line by putting in place projects that improve water ...
Ask An Expert | How Does Removing Conifers Help Oregon’s Grouse?
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Ask An Expert | How Does Removing Conifers Help Oregon’s Grouse?

Wildlife biologist Fozz Foster works on restoring and improving habitat in Oregon's sagebrush sea. In this 'Ask an Expert' interview, he tells SGI about how he works ...
New Science: Conifer Removal Restores Habitat for Lesser Prairie Chickens
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New Science: Conifer Removal Restores Habitat for Lesser Prairie Chickens

Conifer encroachment spells bad news for birds that need intact, wide open spaces--sage grouse and lesser prairie-chickens included. This new report released by our partner, ...
SGI Unveils Interactive Web Application To Bolster Wildlife Conservation Work
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SGI Unveils Interactive Web Application To Bolster Wildlife Conservation Work

Today, the Sage Grouse Initiative is unveiling a new tool to catalyze and improve habitat conservation efforts across the western United States. The free SGI Interactive Web ...
A Game-Changing Approach to Conservation in the West
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A Game-Changing Approach to Conservation in the West

“My neighbors have all been getting on board one by one, now that they are seeing how well it’s working,” says Oregon rancher John O’Keeffe. Read this opinion piece by ...
Management of Aspen in a Changing Environment
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Management of Aspen in a Changing Environment

By: Douglas J. Shinneman, Anne S. Halford, Cheri Howell, Kevin D. Krasnow, and Eva K. Strand | This fact sheet provides information to help identify different aspen types, ...
Sagebrush Songbirds Benefit from Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration
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Sagebrush Songbirds Benefit from Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration

New research released as part of the Sage Grouse Initiative's Science to Solutions series shows that restoring sagebrush ecosystems not only benefits ranching and sage grouse ...
Wildfire Management Strategies | New Video Shows Projects that Protect the Sagebrush Sea
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Wildfire Management Strategies | New Video Shows Projects that Protect the Sagebrush Sea

A new video by Steve Stuebner shows how fire prevention policies and ambitious rangeland restoration strategies are working to protect prime sage grouse ...
Conifer Removal in the Sagebrush Steppe
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Conifer Removal in the Sagebrush Steppe

This transition from shrub steppe to woodland has broad, concerning impacts on ecosystem function and services. This fact sheet explains the "why when, where, and how" of ...
Round-up of Ranching Success Stories for Sage Grouse
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Round-up of Ranching Success Stories for Sage Grouse

The NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative partners with private landowners to put in place conservation projects like these examples, which will protect the sagebrush sea, western ...
Bi-State Sage Grouse Forum Attracts Full House in Nevada
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Bi-State Sage Grouse Forum Attracts Full House in Nevada

Sage grouse experts representing many stakeholders and partners of the Sage Grouse Initiative converged in Minden, Nevada, yesterday for a high-profile forum aimed at solving ...
Conifer Removal Restores Sage Grouse Habitat
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Conifer Removal Restores Sage Grouse Habitat

Hundreds of thousands of acres of intact sagebrush lands--and the grouse that depend upon them--are threatened by invading conifers. SGI helps remove the threat to prevent ...