Last week’s historic decision to keep the majestic greater sage-grouse off the endangered species list is a huge victory for the bird, landowners, and the parties working together to implement a plan for its protection, said members of K·Coe Conservation, a K·Coe Isom company dedicated to helping farmers and ranchers access conservation markets.
Many experts see this as a watershed moment in the fragile coexistence of land management, species preservation, ranching and mineral extraction. Others are less optimistic, but the overall tenor of the discussion seems to center on a new era of cooperation in species conservation.
“This is truly an amazing outcome for everyone who shares an interest in preserving the sage grouse and the sagebrush where it can thrive,” said K·Coe Conservation Director, Brian Kuehl. “It’s going to take a lot of planning, hard work and monitoring, but I think Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe said it best: ‘(The new partnerships) will reap dividends for sage-grouse, big game and other wildlife while protecting a way of life in the West.’ And that’s what we’re all about at K·Coe Conservation.”
K·Coe Conservation already works with western agricultural organizations to help ranchers in the western US assess whether they can generate revenue by helping to conserve the greater sage-grouse. Organizations partnering with K·Coe Conservation include the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Montana Stockgrowers Association, Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, Idaho Cattlemen’s Association and California Farm Bureau Federation.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Western states require companies that impact sage-grouse through oil and gas development and other industrial activities to mitigate those impacts by funding conservation projects. K·Coe Conservation connects farmers and ranchers who can host conservation projects with companies that need to fund conservation projects. Farmers and ranchers can continue using their land for agriculture but can also get paid to improve and conserve habitat for the greater sage-grouse.
“What’s important for everyone to understand is that the decision to keep the sage-grouse of the list is just the beginning of new conservation efforts,” Kuehl said. “We are uniquely positioned to help landowners access these markets as an additional revenue source. By bringing ranchers and landowners to the table, we craft practical, lasting solutions that support rural economies, wildlife habitat and industry.”
K·Coe Conservation helps agricultural landowners profit from new and growing conservation markets. The organization helps industry proceed with developments by meeting their need for mitigation credits. Visit the K·Coe Conservation page for more information.