Sage Grouse Initiative
[From Press Release] Today, the Sage Grouse Initiative, led by USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, is unveiling a new tool to catalyze and improve habitat conservation efforts across the western United States. The SGI Interactive Web Application is free and available to the public, presenting cutting-edge geospatial data covering 100 million acres. The SGI science team has developed an easy-to-use web application that helps visualize, distribute, and interact with information about the sagebrush-steppe ecosystem.
Developed in partnership with the University of Montana and others, SGI used Google Earth Engine to build a new interactive online map that, for the first time, combines layers of related data to better target invasive species damaging habitat and rangeland in 11 states. The new app currently allows farmers, ranchers, conservationists and other partners to analyze data on the encroachment of conifers and cheatgrass on key rangeland. The SGI science team will continue to add more layers to the map as they are developed—such as data on fence collisions and subdivision risk—to help address threats to sage grouse and the 350+ species that depend on healthy sagebrush-steppe habitat.
The goal is to put information directly into the hands of the resource managers who need it. The layers available now include high-resolution tree canopy cover and ecosystem resilience and resistance index data across the range of sage grouse. All data can be easily downloaded, allowing custom analysis to make the most difference for working lands and wildlife…