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Sage-Grouse


The Sage-Grouse Research Collaborative (SGC) was formed in 2010 under the Wildlife Workgroup’s Grassland and Shrub Steppe Species Subgroup to coordinate studies examining the potential impacts of wind energy development on sage-grouse across their range with the goal of informing wind development and sage-grouse management strategies.

Research Projects

Through a competitive process conducted in 2011, the Collaborative selected three research projects to support with funds raised from federal, state, and industry sources. The Collaborative oversees the individual research studies and a combined analysis of data from all studies to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the impacts of wind power on sage-grouse across their range.

The three research projects include:

  • “A study of the impacts of a wind energy development on Greater Sage-Grouse populations in southeastern Wyoming,” led by Wyoming Wildlife Consultants LLC
  • “Ecology of male Greater Sage-Grouse in relation to wind energy development in Wyoming,” led by University of Missouri and Power Company of Wyoming
  • “Response of Greater Sage-Grouse to wind power development,” led by Idaho Department of Fish and Game
    • Note: Because the Bureau of Land Management has delayed its final decision on the proposed project for two to three years, the Collaborative decided in 2012 not to continue funding this research for the time being. Using funds already provided by the Collaborative, the research team continued scaled-back research (with a focus on survival data, nesting, and broods) until August 2012.

Funding

The Collaborative thanks the funders of the work, including:

  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management (administered through the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation)
  • U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, through the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative and Plains and Prairie Potholes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (administered through the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)

For 2011, the Collaborative awarded $715,537 in funding to the three research projects. To read the press release announcing the 2011 funding awards, please click here.

For 2012, the Collaborative awarded $533,500 in funding to two of the projects to continue research.   To read the press release announcing the 2012 funding awards and outlining the status of the research, please click here.

For 2013, the Collaborative awarded $527,721 in funding to two of the projects to continue research.

Oversight

For information on the Collaborative’s operations, please see the Operating Protocols.

Oversight Committee
The Collaborative is overseen by an Oversight Committee with representatives from academia, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, and wind developers. Current members of the Oversight Committee include:

  • Zachary Bowen, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Karyn Coppinger, Invenergy
  • Bradley Fedy, University of Waterloo
  • Scott Gamo, Wyoming Game & Fish Dept
  • Scott Gardner, California Dept of Fish & Game
  • Patrick Gilman, U.S. Dept of Energy
  • Joseph Grennan, RES Americas
  • Tom Hemker, Idaho Dept of Fish and Game
  • Christy Johnson-Hughes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Joe Kiesecker, The Nature Conservancy
  • Holly Michael, Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife
  • Brian Rutledge, Audubon Wyoming
  • Jim Sedinger, University of Nevada
  • Robin Sell, BLM Colorado State Office
  • Karin Sinclair, NREL (Technical Monitor)

Updates

The Collaborative meets regularly by phone to discuss the progress of the research and other administrative matters.  Brief summaries of key items from each call are provided below:

July 30, 2013

On July 30, 2013, the Sage-Grouse Research Collaborative met by phone. Key outcomes from the call are summarized below.

  • The research team leads provided updates on the status of the research and Oversight Committee members asked questions and provided feedback.
  • The Oversight Committee and research teams discussed the need to prioritize fundraising to increase Collaborative funding available to support the work in upcoming years.

March 13, 2013

On March 13, 2013, the Sage-Grouse Research Collaborative Oversight Committee met by phone. Key outcomes from the call and follow-up communications are summarized below.

  • The Oversight Committee awarded the Wyoming Wildlife Consultants team the requested funding amount for 2013 minus expected funding from other sources.
  • The Oversight Committee awarded the University of Missouri/Power Company of Wyoming team the requested funding amount for 2013.

February 11, 2013

The research teams of the NWCC Sage-Grouse Research Collaborative met in person the morning of February 11, 2013 to discuss coordination of the research projects to meet the overall goal of the Collaborative: “To coordinate studies examining the potential impacts of wind development on Sage-grouse across their range with the goal of informing wind development and Sage-grouse management strategies.”

In the afternoon, Oversight Committee members joined the meeting in person and by phone to hear updates on the research and a debrief from the morning working session.

December 14, 2012

On December 14, the Sage-Grouse Research Collaborative met by phone.  Key outcomes from the call are summarized below.

  • The research team leads provided updates on the status of the research and Oversight Committee members asked questions and provided feedback.
  • The research teams of the Collaborative will meet for an in-person meeting in February to further the coordination of the research projects to allow for combined data analysis.

August 23, 2012

On August 23, the Sage-Grouse Research Collaborative met by phone.  Key outcomes from the call are summarized below.

  • The Collaborative released a press release with updates on the research on August 7.
  • On August 17, the Collaborative submitted a full proposal for funding from the Multi-State Conservation Grant Program.
  • The Collaborative will schedule an in-person meeting in early 2013 to further the coordination of the research projects to allow for an eventual combined analysis.

May 10, 2012

On May 10, the Sage-Grouse Research Collaborative met by phone.  Key outcomes from the call are summarized below.

March 23, 2012

On March 23, the Sage-Grouse Research Collaborative Oversight Committee met by phone.  Key outcomes from the call are summarized below.

  • The Oversight Committee awarded the Wyoming Wildlife Consultants team the requested funding amount for 2012.
  • The Oversight Committee awarded the University of Missouri/Power Company of Wyoming team the requested funding amount for 2012.
  • The Oversight Committee agreed that the IDFG team should complete scaled-back research (focusing on survival and nesting) for the year, as possible with the remaining NWCC funds.  Because BLM has delayed its decision on the proposed China Mountain wind development for 2 years, the Collaborative will not fund additional research until the BLM update to the land use plan is completed; the deadline for these plan amendments is May 30, 2014.