Rancher Speaks of On-Ground Results of Sage Grouse Initiative
Participant in the voluntary initiative, Oregon rancher John O’Keefe says on the ground conservation is exactly what will preserve the species. He continues with the conservation activities of his family’s ranch on behalf of the sage grouse.
O’Keefe: “We’ve done on the ground juniper control on over 4,500 acres of sage grouse habitat. It has helped to make our ranching operation more sustainable. It has allowed us to positively affect our watershed function. It has showcased the value of engaging working ranches in landscaping conservation.”
He continues with why this voluntary on the ground approach is critical.
O’Keefe: “The listing does not provide this, it moves the activity to the buearcratic realm and into the court room. The Sage Grouse Initiative is continuing across the West. State plans by local stakeholders are being worked on and will soon be in place. These things are coming together and we need to be sure that the Service has the opportunity to place full value on these efforts. The livestock industry is proud to be involved with the Sage Grouse Initiative.”