News Release

For Release:  Jan. 31, 2008       
Contact: Jeff Fontana (BLM) 530/ 252-5332 or Linda Hansen (SNC) 530/257-2500

Conservancy Awards Grant Funds for Sage Grouse Conservation

Efforts to conserve sage-grouse habitat in northeastern California got a financial boost recently, when the Sierra Nevada Conservancy provided grants totaling about $139,000 to the Bureau of Land Management’s Alturas and Eagle Lake field offices.
The conservancy awarded $48,400 to help fund a coordinator for the Buffalo-Skedaddle Landscape Management Restoration Initiative.  An additional $98,500 was provided for on-the-ground projects to restore habitat.
“These were among the first grants awarded by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy Board of Directors,” said Linda Hansen, the conservancy’s Mt. Lassen area representative.  “Award of the grants recognizes excellent work already underway by the local sage-grouse conservation working group.  The funds will enable the group to continue implementing conservation projects on the ground.”
Initial projects will focus on the Nort Springs drainage, the Dill Field sage-grouse strutting ground and Cold Springs Mountain, all high desert areas northeast of Susanville.  The sites are important because they provide water sources and breeding areas for the birds.  Work will include juniper reduction, treatment of invasive weeds and reintroduction of sagebrush in appropriate areas.
The projects, to be completed in cooperation with the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District, are important because at various stages in their life cycles, sage-grouse need open areas, cover provided by sagebrush, water and native grasses.
Natural resource agencies including the BLM and the California Department of Fish and Game provide special management attention to sage-grouse because of declining populations and shrinking habitat.  Northeast California public lands support one of the largest populations of the birds in California. 
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy was formed in 2004 by state legislation. Its mission focuses on improving the environmental, economic and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada region, including providing funding and support for local cooperative efforts to restore, improve or maintain watersheds and to benefit communities.
The BLM’s Eagle Lake and Alturas field offices manage about 1.6 million acres of public lands including important sage-grouse habitat.


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