Sage Grouse Habitat Enhancement



The Lake DeSmet Conservation District Sage Brush/Grassland Restoration Project was completed in the Spring of 2011. It was landowner initiated and the $3.3 million dollar project was funded through dollars provided by the NRCS Farm Bill programs, LDCD, private landowners, and grant dollars awarded by; WG&F, USF&WS, Pheasants Forever, Wyoming Governor’s Sage Grouse Fund, Bow Hunters of America, the oil and gas industries, CBNG, WWNRT, NRCS-CIG grant and private foundations. The project focused on habitat for the “at risk species” sage grouse.

Crazy Woman Canyon

· A pasture aerator was used to enhance a total of 15,972 acres for sage grouse habitat on private lands benefitting over 350,000 enrolled acres. 

· 142 wildlife escape ramps were placed in stock tanks to lessen fatalities for the sage grouse and other wildlife species

· Over 17,000 pounds of shrub and forb seed were planted

· 74 watering tanks were installed

· 6 solar-powered systems providing energy efficient water development were put in place

· 18 miles of pipeline were installed

· 54 miles of fence installed to further grazing strategies on the enrolled acres

· Grazing management plans completed for all 24 participating land owners

· Annual monitoring will continue


Sage Grouse CCAA (Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances)  and CCA (Candidate Conservation Agreement)

For more information, contact: CCAA Educational Project Coordinator - Leanne Correll, Sun Agri LLC (307)-920-1200


To obtain a copy of the CCAA Information packet including applications, call Wyoming Stock Growers Association at (307) 638-3942 or download from You will find much more information on these programs at the link.

Landowner’s Approach to Umbrella CCAA, Landowner Handbook, Landowner Information Brochure, CCAA/CCA Forms and Templates, CCAA Latest Updates, and CCAA/CCA Education Program Calendar

Last Modified on February 3, 2016

Text Box: Due to the recent listing, by US Fish & Wildlife Service, of the Sage Grouse as a ‘warranted but precluded’ species, the district and cooperating landowners are working to improve the bird’s habitat in order to keep it from being elevated to an endangered species.  The LDCD and a local rancher have cooperated in submitting and receiving funding from the NE Wyoming Sage Grouse Work Group to develop a new study entitled the Demonstration Emergency Wildfire Restoration Buffalo Core Sage Grouse Habitat Project.  In 2010, approximately 270 acres of prime “core” sage grouse habitat burned in a wildfire. The next spring, sagebrush seed was broadcast with a pasture aerator on upland sites and a mixture of sage grouse forb seed was added within overflow sites within the burn area.  A monitoring plan, along with a grazing plan for deferment to achieve seeding success has been developed. The randomly selected key monitoring sites occurred within the same ecological site to maintain a control for success.  Parameters being monitored include production, density, cover and photo points.  Permanent photo points were established to coincide with baseline transects to document percent plant composition changes.  Monitoring will be conducted over a five year period to achieve long term results.  Grazing strategies will be assessed, annually to consider any needed changes.

Monitoring the baseline rangeland adjoining the burn area

Burn area being reseeded along with aerator

The District completed its second and third year of monitoring on the Demonstration Emergency Wildfire Restoration Buffalo Core Sage Grouse Habitat Project.  An increase in planted sage brush and forbs has occurred each of the 2nd and 3rd years of the project.

Checking for new growth (right & above right)

CATO FIRE Integrated Pest Management Work


In June of 2012, an extremely hot wildfire, the CATO fire, ravaged over 28,000 acres of prime sage grouse and wildlife habitat within the sage grouse core area just outside of Buffalo, Wyoming.  The LDCD received a grant to conduct sage brush suitability mapping within the burn area. This project is a cooperative effort between private landowners and resource management agencies and focuses on identifying suitable site for restoration and re-establishment of sage brush and wildlife habitat.  LDCD also partnered with private landowners, Johnson Co. Weed and Pest, Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resources Trust and the BLM in addressing leafy spurge and cheatgrass infestations within the CATO wildfire in 2013.  Approximately 23,000 acres were treated by aerial spray to reduce risk of re-emergence of noxious and invasive weeds on native rangelands, post fire.


While efforts to control cheatgrass have been very successful, leafy spurge has made a comeback after the fire.  In 2014, continued efforts have been made to control this weed through cooperation between landowners, the JC Weed and Pest and the LDCD.  Additional beetles that attack the spurge and been purchased and released.  Integrated pest management will continue until the spurge is under control.