New Strategy Aims to Save Sagebrush in Western States
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have released a plan to save sagebrush habitats in Western states that support cattle ranching, recreation and 350 wildlife species, including imperiled sage grouse.
Officials say the 248-page document released this month is a paradigm shift relying on advances in technology and analytics to categorize sagebrush areas based on resistance and resiliency to wildfire.
Parts of the plan describe a triage system as officials with limited resources try to restore and protect sagebrush country that for decades has been losing ground to a devastating combination of invasive plants and wildfires.
A federal report last year concluded efforts to save sagebrush habitat were failing, with invasive plants such as cheatgrass and medusahead on nearly 160,000 square miles of public and private lands.