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Study To Examine How Saving Sage Grouse Effects Local Economies


A University of Wyoming research team is working with Western ranchers to develop a model to calculate the economic impacts of sage grouse conservation on ranchers.

A University of Wyoming research team is working with Western ranchers to develop a model to calculate the economic impacts of sage grouse conservation on ranchers.

Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management/Flickr

Volumes have been published on conservation approaches to benefit embattled Western sage grouse populations, but economist John Tanaka believes researchers have largely overlooked how such strategies affect ranchers’ bottom lines.

Tanaka, associate director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station, and his research team have started working on a model to estimate the economic impacts of sage grouse management practices on ranches of varying sizes and distributions of public and private grazing land.

The model will be used to develop at least 36 enterprise budgets covering hypothetical ranches in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Montana and Nevada.

“From an economic standpoint, nobody has ever looked at if what we’re proposing ranchers do to enhance sage grouse habitat is going to enhance their bottom line,” Tanaka said, adding the data should help guide decisions of land managers and ranchers.

Read more at the Capital Press.

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