Juniper control improves habitat for sage-grouse, cattle, wildlife
Western juniper trees have been encroaching on upland and meadow habitat in the Owyhee Mountains for more than 50 years. Juniper encroachment causes problems for the Greater Sage-grouse, a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act, and degrades habitat for wildlife and livestock grazing. A new method called "juniper mastication" has been applied on more than 5,000 acres of private land in Owyhee County, and the results appear promising. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides cost-share funds for the control work. The Nature Conservancy and others are monitoring the results.