Sage Grouse Working Groups Seeking Project Proposals

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GREEN RIVER– Wyoming’s eight local sage grouse working groups are once again seeking project proposals to benefit sage grouse and their habitat. 

During its 2008 session, the Wyoming Legislature approved Gov. Dave Freudenthal’s budget request for $2.83 million to support sage grouse management in the state from 2008-2010.  Of that total, $1.2 million is available to support the local working groups and fund conservation projects benefiting sage grouse and their habitat. Similar funding from the 2005 and 2006 legislative sessions provided more than $1.5 million to implement 70 sage grouse projects across the state.  Approved projects ranged from $1,000 to nearly $100,000 and averaged about $21,000 per project.

The process for distributing the funds calls for individuals, agencies or organizations with a project to submit that project to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, which will forward the application to the appropriate local working group. Application forms and complete instructions should be downloaded from the Game and Fish Department Web site. Completed applications must be submitted prior to July 15, 2008.  The funds will be distributed as reimbursable grants in most cases.

Proposals will be evaluated based on their consistency with the local sage grouse conservation plan, likelihood of success, project readiness, availability of matching funds, multiple species benefits, significance at local/state/regional level, duration of benefits and adequacy of monitoring. 

Wyoming’s eight local working groups are Jackson, Upper Green River Basin (Pinedale area), Southwest, South-central (Rawlins and Saratoga areas), Wind River/Sweetwater River Basin (Dubois, Riverton and Jeffrey City areas), Big Horn Basin, Northeast and Bates Hole/Shirley Basin (Casper and Laramie areas). The purpose of local working groups is to develop and facilitate implementation of local conservation plans for the benefit of sage grouse and, whenever feasible, other species that use sagebrush habitats. Participants include 10-15 people who live and/or work in the local working group area. Each working group includes representatives from agriculture, industry, conservation and government.

Questions may be directed to Tom Christiansen, Game and Fish sage grouse coordinator at (307) 875-3223 or tom [dot] christiansen [at] wgf [dot] state [dot] wy [dot] us.