Published since 1946
BLM Abandons Idaho Sagebrush Restoration Project
The Bureau of Land Management decided not to move forward with the Bruneau-Owyhee Sage Grouse Habitat Project after the record of decision approving the project was signed in late May. The project, that would have removed encroaching juniper on over 600,000 acres of sagebrush habitat in southwestern Idaho, was opposed by Western Watersheds Project which filed a formal appeal of the project approval in June. The organization claimed that there is “considerable scientific controversy” about whether juniper removal is beneficial to sage grouse over the long term. However, the Sage Grouse Initiative reports that sage grouse avoid areas with high levels of invading conifers and that within four years of a conifer removal project, there was an increase in nesting hens within or near the restored habitat.