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Partnership Support to the Western Natrona County Sage Grouse Distribution Project

Post Date

February 25th 2008

Application Due Date

March 10th 2008

Funding Opportunity Number


CFDA Number(s)


Funding Instrument Type(s)

Cooperative Agreement

Funding Activity Categories

Natural Resources

Number of Awards


Eligibility Categories



  • Estimated Total Funding:


  • Award Range:

    $40000 - $40000

Grant Description

I. Section I. Funding Opportunity Description A. Legislative Authority: Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-579) B. Project Background Information: Sage grouse populations and habitat concerns have gained national attention over the last several years due to continued declining populations and ever increasing pressures which continue to alter and fragment habitat. For these reasons, there have been numerous petitions to list the Greater Sage Grouse under the protections of the Endangered Species Act. This attention has resulted in state and federal agencies having to re-examine what we know and don’t know about the sage grouse populations and habitats the agencies manage. What the agencies have learned is that there are some serious data gaps in our knowledge of local sage-grouse populations. For instance, in the BLM, Casper Field Office area there are approximately 300 documented sage-grouse leks. However, neither the BLM nor the WGFD have any seasonal habitats delineated other than the 2 mile point radii (depicting potential nesting habitat) surrounding each lek. Recent findings from studies being conducted in Wyoming and elsewhere have demonstrated that this method is inadequate in depicting sage grouse nesting habitat and other seasonal habitats. Additionally, for many of our sage grouse populations the agencies cannot answer basic biological questions, like whether a population is migratory or non-migratory; or how existing human disturbances are affecting the grouse populations in the area. By answering these basic questions, management agencies will be better equipped to make the appropriate management decisions with regards to sage grouse management and conservation. C. Project Objective: Collar a minimum of 80 sage grouse with ATS VHF necklace collars during the spring of 2008/2009. Birds will be captured at spring lek sites. Radio-collared birds will be tracked throughout the year and locations recorded using a Global Positioning System (GPS) and incorporated into Geographical Information System (GIS) for mapping and spatial analysis. Data collected will be analyzed to delineate sage-grouse seasonal habitat preferences and identify critical seasonal habitats. To identify any potential pathogens a parasite survey and serum samples would be collected from captured birds. Additionally, a seasonal habitat selection model would be created utilizing this data to help agencies to identify other important seasonal habitats. D. Benefits: This project will enable management agencies to identify critical seasonal habitat locations. This information will allow these agencies to make informed decisions when considering different management and land-use activities. Data obtained from this project would be utilized in land-use planning documents and the development of mitigation measures designed to conserve sage grouse. This information would also be made available to other agencies and institutions who are involved in sage grouse conservation and management efforts. This information would be utilized to develop future sage grouse conservation strategies to reverse the declining population trends and would be available for consideration in future in future ESA petition evaluations. Further, it is hopeful that this project will raise local awareness of sage grouse conservation issues. E. Statement of Joint Objectives/Project Management Plan: Recipient agrees to: • Provide technical expertise, personnel, equipment and vehicle/fuel support for the graduate student. • Provide sage grouse population data, reports, and other supporting documentation. • Review annual progress reports and other documents resulting from the work effort for adequacy. • Assist with the application and reporting required for the Chapter 33 Scientific Collection Permit. • Serve as the “pass through agency” for the LWG by distributing funding to the University to support the Western Natrona County Sage Grouse Distribution Project. • University agrees to: o Delineate seasonal sage grouse habitats (breeding, nesting/early brood rearing, late brood rearing, and winter) habitats within the study area. o Define fine-scale sage-grouse habitat variables as outlined in the proposed study plan. o Complete multivariate statistical analysis and spatial analysis of all data collected and compare to existing sage-grouse predictive models. o Perform a parasite survey of the population to identify potential pathogens that may impact stressed individuals and populations. o Prepare and administer a detailed budget for this project, to be provided with the Study Plan and Annual Reports. o Share collected raw data with other sage-grouse researchers, as requested. BLM agrees to: • Provide technical expertise, personnel, equipment, and overall project support for the UW graduate student. • Provide GIS data and support as required. • Review annual progress reports and other documents resulting from the work effort for adequacy. • Contact landowners to secure access into the study area. • Provide final payments or reimbursements to the recipient in accordance with VI of the agreement and applicable OMB and Treasury Circulars. Recipient and BLM agree to: • Review and approve Study Plan to ensure project objectives meet agency requirements. • Cooperatively share wildlife population and distribution data obtained during this effort. • Review and coordinate sage-grouse management recommendations resulting from this effort. Deliverables: • UW agrees to provide a Study Plan outlining project objectives and methodologies • UW agrees to provide the BLM and recipient an annual report by September 30, 2008 and 2009. • UW agrees that a thesis or professional paper will be completed reporting the project results by December 31, 2010. • UW agrees to provide the BLM and recipient a predictive model of sage-grouse seasonal habitat use by December 31, 2010.

Contact Information

  • Agency

    Department of the Interior

  • Office:

    Bureau of Land Management

  • Agency Contact:

    Ilze Karklins-Powers
    Grants & Agreements Specialist
    Phone 307-775-6293

  • Agency Mailing Address:

    Assistance Officer

  • Agency Email Address:

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