Project History

Trace the progress of the Grouse & Grazing Project from the present (second half of 2017) to its inception in the Fall of 2012.

 

  • Fall 2017 through Winter 2023 – We will continue yearly efforts to deploy radio transmitters on sage-grouse hens, continue vegetation assessments, and continue assessments of utilization patterns. Work with permittees and BLM to set up annual grazing plans to accomplish grazing treatments in study pastures. Add more study sites in Idaho and work with researchers in Oregon and Nevada to establish study sites following our basic research protocol. Add reserach components related to effects of grazing on fuels (as funding allows).
  • Spring/Summer 2017 – Captured and attached radio transmitters to >100 sage-grouse hens on five allotments in coooperation with partner agencies, organizations, and ranchers. Currently conducting detailed vegetation assessments at nests and at randomly selected sites throughout study pastures.
  • Fall 2016/Winter 2017 – Met with partners to give research updates and solicit input. Wrote and disseminated the 2016 annual report. Wrote and submitted funding proposals to numerous organizations to help sustain the project.
  • Spring/Summer 2016 – Captured and attached radio transmitters to 229 sage-grouse hens on five allotments in cooperation with partner agencies, organizations, and ranchers. Conducted detailed vegetation assessment at nests, near nests, and randomly selected sites throughout study pastures. Assessed spatial variation in grazing patterns on study pastures that support sage-grouse nests to examine the relationship between cattle utilization patterns and a suite of sage-grouse demographic traits. We also began measuring  breeding density of all birds on the study pastures to document how density of ravens and other avian predators varies among study sites and among years and to assess how the grazing treatments influence popuations of other birds.
  • Fall 2015/Winter 2016 – We met with partners to give research updates and solicit input. Identified one additional study site: BLM Challis Field Office (Pahsimeroi Valley allotment). Wrote the 2015 annual report
  • Spring/Summer 2015 – Captured and attached radio transmitters to 93 sage-grouse hens at four allotments in cooperation with partner agencies, organizations, and ranchers. Conducted detailed vegetation assessments and tracked hen vital rates. We also initiated research on how grazing influences insect populations which are an important food source for grouse.
  • Fall 2014/Winter 2015 – We met with partners to give project updates and solicit input on ways to accomplish grazing treatments. Established two additional study sites: BLM Upper Snake River Field Office (Big Butte allotment) and BLM Bruneau Field Office (Sheep Creek allotment).
  • Spring/Summer 2014 – We placed radio transmitters on 86 sage-grouse hens at two study sites: BLM Burley Field Office (Jim Sage allotment) and BLM Jarbidge Field Office (Brackett Bench allotment). We monitored 54 nest attempts and conducted detailed vegetation assessments of habitat features at nests and at random sites throughout the study areas.
  • Fall 2013/Winter 2014 – Developed detailed study plan with planning team and collaborators. Visited with grazing permittees to explain proposed research plan and explore opportunities for collaboration.
  • Spring/Summer 2013 – Conducted field tours of potential research sites to select study sites and secure collaboration with BLM land managers and permittees.
  • Fall 2012 – Initiated discussion about the proposed research objectives and methods. Formed an 11-member planning team.