(Lander, WY) — The Bureau of Land Management, Red Desert Audubon Society, Wyoming Native Plant Society, Wyoming Wilderness Association and Wyoming Game and Fish Department teamed up for a critical step toward restoring Greater Sage-Grouse habitat affected by wildfires. The partners spent two days collecting seeds from some of the sage-grouse’s favorite plants—seeds that will one day be used to revegetate burned sagebrush habitat.
BLM staff chose mostly undisturbed public lands east of Lander to collect the desert biscuitroot and hoary balsamroot seeds. Sage-grouse will eat the leaves and flowers of these forbs, as well as the insects they harbor, during their breeding and early brood-rearing stages.
“Seeds collected locally have a higher chance of re-establishing in our area than seeds grown or collected in a different geographic region under different environmental conditions,” said Emma Freeland, sage-grouse representative for the BLM Wind River/Bighorn Basin District.
Next, the collected seeds will be given to growers for large-scale seed production. The resulting seeds will be stored at a BLM seed warehouse and made available for post-fire recovery projects.
“Collaborative seed collection projects like this are vital for wildfire restoration on public lands across the west,” said Freeland. “Thank you to our partners for making these efforts possible.”
For more information, contact Emma Freeland at (307) 332-8400.