A recent study by the University of Washington has shown benefits from land owners participating in the the Conservation Reserve Program. This program pays farmers to plant grasses and vegetation instead of their agricultural crops. Planting their lands in different vegetation creates habitat needed, especially for sage grouse. Washington now has over 1 million acres in the CRP program. Sage grouse were close to being listed as federally endangered several years back. Thankfully this type of program is being utilized by the state of Washington had has proven beneficial to helping keep sage grouse off the endangered list. May sage grouse continue their dramatic spring mating ritual due to this state and federal partnerships! Conservation programs of this nature are proving they work well to saving the species and creating new habitat!
“A new study of sage grouse in eastern Washington found a surprisingly large benefit from a federal program that subsidizes farmers to plant year-round grasses and native shrubs instead of crops.”
“The Conservation Reserve Program, established in 1985, is voluntary and pays farmers to plant agricultural land with environmentally beneficial vegetation on 10- to 15-year contracts. The study concluded that is probably the reason that sage grouse still live in portions of Washington’s Columbia River Basin.”