Help Keep Sage-Grouse Aloft on Eastern Sierra Ranchlands

Sage Grouse

Help create safer habitat for one of the iconic wildlife species that makes the Eastern Sierra so special: the elusive Greater sage-grouse. Photo © Bureau of Land Management.

Maintaining safe habitat for the rare Bi-State Greater sage-grouse is no small task. Join us for our 2nd annual Sage-Grouse Stewardship Day, and help create safer habitat for sage-grouse on the working ranchlands of Sinnamon Meadows!

Sage-Grouse Stewardship Day
Wednesday, October 14
9am-5pm
Sinnamon Meadows Conservation Easement
To RSVP, email Sara: sara@eslt.org

This unusual ground-nesting bird is often found on ranchland, where good range management and sustainable grazing provide an ideal environment for sage-grouse to forage, perform their renowned courtship dances, and raise their chicks. New rangeland science has led to modified fence designs that reduce sage-grouse mortality, but old fencing left on the range still poses serious risks and barbed wire has been known to snare birds in flight.

On October 14, join us for a day of land stewardship and help ensure Sinnamon Meadows becomes a safer home for sage-grouse! With the support of the landowner, we’re gathering a team of hardworking volunteers to flag, remove, and replace fences that pose hazards to these low-flying birds. Carpools will be arranged, and snacks and refreshments will be provided.

This great team of volunteers

This hardworking team of volunteers made last year’s Sage-Grouse Stewardship Day a big success. Join us on the land on October 14, and help complete this important work!

Known for its sweeping views, fall foliage, and historic arborglyph carvings, this stunning private property has been used as summer pasture for over a century, and is a haven for the rare sage-grouse. In September 2014, ESLT permanently protected Sinnamon Meadows with a conservation easement – click here to read about this conservation successWe began efforts to create safer sage-grouse habitat last fall, and hope to make great strides towards completing this important work on October 14. If you’re interested in volunteering at our Sage-Grouse Stewardship Day, please contact Sara Kokkelenberg: sara@eslt.org or (760) 873-4554.

We’re looking forward to a day of good work in one of the Sierra’s most beautiful high meadows, and we hope you’ll join us!

Photo

In addition to working side-by-side to make the working landscape a safer place for sage-grouse, we’re excited to share with you some of the property’s beautiful fall colors and historic arborglyph carvings.

Update on the Proposed Sage-Grouse Endangered Species Listing

A historic decision was recently made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) not to list Greater sage-grouse populations existing throughout the American West under the Endangered Species Act. USFWS will monitor continuing conservation efforts and sage-grouse population trends, and will re-evaluate the status of the species in five years. This national decision was preceded by one made in April, when the USFWS determined that our local, Bi-state population would not be listed. This decision was made largely in response to a comprehensive conservation plan created by the Bi-State Local Area Working Group, a dynamic partnership of ranchers, conservationists, agency and county representatives, and concerned citizens. Their Bi-State Action Plan lays the groundwork to help local sage-grouse populations rebound without enacting land use restrictions that an endangered species listing would impose.

One critical component of the Action Plan involves modifying and replacing existing fences to make them safer for sage-grouse. This is particularly important for properties like Sinnamon Meadows where sage-grouse are known to frequent, year after year.

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