Sage Grouse Initiative in Montana

The Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) is a partnership of ranchers, agencies, nonprofit groups, and others that embrace a common vision: what is good for rangelands is good for sage grouse. Working in conjunction with USDA Farm Bill programs and NRCS Field Offices, SGI provides for 24 range conservationists in 11 western states to assist private landowners with planning and implementing rangeland practices to conserve sage grouse habitat.
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Since 2011, SWCDM, in partnership with a number of agencies and non-government organizations, has employed three SGI range conservationists in Forsyth, Glasgow, and Malta. A fourth position serving Carter County (Ekalaka) was added in summer 2015, and in spring 2017 the Glasgow position was transferred to Roundup. Over the last 6 years, our range conservationists have accomplished range inventories on over 60 private lands and sage grouse conservation projects on dozens of properties. Examples of projects include working with landowners on implementing grazing management plans, improving water infrastructure, fence marking, and integrating habitat improvement work across private and public lands. An additional component of our range conservationists’ mission is to provide outreach to interested landowners, Conservation Districts, and the public about sage grouse conservation efforts and programs available for assistance.

For more information about the SGI program and eligible projects or outreach opportunities, contact your local NRCS Field Office or a SGI range conservationist near you:

Justin Hughes, Ekalaka Field Office, 406-775-6355 x112, jhughes@macdnet.org

Hayden Nelson, Roundup Field Office, 406-323-2103; hayden.nelson@macdnet.org (starts May 22)

Heather Nenninger, Forsyth Field Office, 406-346-7333 x109, hnenninger@macdnet.org

Martin Townsend, Malta Field Office, 406-654-1334 x119, martin.townsend@macdnet.org (starts May 30)

Additional Resources:

Information from NRCS about the Sage Grouse Intiative

The Sage Grouse Initiative Brochure

The Sage Grouse Initiative Website

Montana SGI 2016 Summary Report

Final Performance Report – 2011-2016 

2015 Annual Performance Report

2014 Annual Performance Report

State Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program Website