Less than half of the original habitat of the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus uropha-sianus) currently exists. Some has been perma-nently lost to farms and urban areas, but the remaining varies in condition from high quality to no longer adequate. Restoration of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) grassland ecosystems may be pos-sible for resilient lands. However, Greater Sage-Grouse require a wide variety of habitats over large areas to complete their life cycle. Effective restoration will require a regional approach for prioritizing and identifying appropriate options across the landscape. A landscape triage method is recommended for prioritizing lands for restora-tion. Spatial models can indicate where to protect and connect intact quality habitat with other simi-lar habitat via restoration. The ecological site con-cept of land classification is recommended for characterizing potential habitat across the region along with their accompanying state and transi-tion models of plant community dynamics. These models assist in identifying if passive, manage-ment-based or active, vegetation manipulation?based restoration might accomplish the goals of improved Greater Sage-Grouse habitat. A series of guidelines help formulate questions that manag-ers might consider when developing restoration plans: (1) site prioritization through a landscape triage; (2) soil verification and the implications of soil features on plant establishment success; (3) a comparison of the existing plant community to the potential for the site using ecological site descriptions; (4) a determination of the current successional status of the site using state and transition models to aid in predicting if passive or active restoration is necessary; and (5) implemen-tation of post-treatment monitoring to evaluate restoration effectiveness and post-treatment man-agement implications to restoration success.
Additional Publication Details
Restoring and rehabilitating sagebrush habitats In Knick, S.T., Connelly, J.W., eds., Greater Sage-Grouse: Ecology and Conservation of a Landscape Species and Its Habitats