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by Lacy Gray, click here for bio
Program: Washington Ag Today
Date: July 23, 12
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Helping wildlife can now be a win/win situation for Washington landowners. Thanks to a non-competitive Conservation Reserve Program opportunity being offered by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. The FSA is accepting CRP applications to establish habitat-providing field borders. In return for creating habitat, private landowners can receive annual rental payments on the land for ten years. Upland bird species potentially benefiting from field borders includes game birds, songbirds, sharp-tailed grouse, and sage-grouse. Those interested in signing up for the program should contact their local FSA office.
National Sage-Grouse Initiative Coordinator, Tim Griffiths, spoke last week about the importance of the Sage Grouse Initiative, which has enrolled 462 ranchers, invested $115 million and generated nearly $60 million in partner matches over the last two years in the effort to reduce sage grouse mortality.
GRIFFITHS: One of the take home messages on this is implementing enough of a right practices in the right locations to benefit population so you quickly get to this biological relevance or scale issue. We’ve implemented just last year alone 208 thousand acres of permanent easements to make sure large working ranches are long term. Looking back that represents a five fold increase in protection of sage-grouse cores in one year.
During this period, ranchers put new grazing systems into practice on 1.3 million acres of large and intact sagebrush to increase hiding cover for nesting birds.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.
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