Northwest News Network - March 25, 2014
A new study suggests creating livable habitat for the dwindling sage grouse may be trickier than originally thought.
Wildfires have been tearing through the bird’s territory in the West. Now, federal researchers find even 20 years after a fire, the ecology is still not up to sage grouse standards.
Sage grouse, as their name suggests, like sagebrush. They eat the shrub as well as nest under it. But hundreds of thousands of sagebrush land burns every fire season.
Federal researchers wanted to know if the post-fire seeding agencies do to stabilize the soil might also be a key to restoring sage grouse habitat. They looked at plots burned in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Nevada.