Subletter Examiner | A cost-sharing opportunity can improve private land habitat

0

The Sublette County Conservation District (SCCD) is now accepting applications for the Private Land Improvement Program (PLEP). This grant-funded initiative is in partnership with the local Upper Green River Basin Wyoming Sage Grouse Task Force. Designed to help county farmland owners increase agricultural and/or rangeland productivity, the program will reimburse selected applicants 50% of seed costs up to $2,500 per project. While the projects aim to add diversity and productive value to the land, this value directly coincides with increasing forage cover and availability for sage-grouse and other species.

Seventeen percent – ​​542,309 acres – of private land acres in Sublette County are zoned as agriculture. Image analysis from 1984 to 2020 indicates a downward trend in perennial herbaceous and grass land cover for these acres (www.rangeland.app).

Not only is shrub cover important to sage-grouse, but herbaceous perennials and grasses provide essential habitat features during breeding, nesting, and brood-rearing seasons. Many private agricultural acres are also located near waterways, which are also essential for sage-grouse due to the higher number of grasses and insects available, especially during late rearing.

The SCCD receives several calls a year from private landowners in Sublette County asking for recommendations to improve their private farmlands, including pastures, hay fields and rangelands. In most cases, landowner goals focus on improving vegetation diversity and productivity. To assist landowners with these projects, the SCCD recently acquired a Lawson range drill and aerator, which are available free of charge to landowners in the county, regardless of their PLEP registration.

By matching the needs of the greater sage grouse with the needs and desires of private landowners in Sublette County, pastures, haylands, and rangelands can become more productive and diverse, providing greater ecosystem services that benefit people. all.

Farmland improvement opportunities include, but are not limited to, planting cornerstones in desirable plant species, improving species diversity in homogeneous hay stands, and improving the diversity of species on rangelands where historical management has resulted in reduced biodiversity.

Applications are accepted until September 30. For more information, an application, or to see if you qualify, visit sublettecd.com or call 307-367-2364. The Sublette County Conservation District office is located at 217 Country Club Lane in Pinedale.

Share.

Comments are closed.