Sage grouse depend on more than sagebrush for survival. Survival of chicks hinges almost entirely on a healthy diet of insects and forbs that flourish in lush, wet meadows and riparian areas. Many of these natural wet meadows and springs have been altered in the past greatly reducing the amount of available habitat for sage grouse broods. Additionally, wet meadows are very productive sites for producing forage for livestock as well and restoring the hydrology and functionality to these sites results in benefits to both sage grouse and livestock.
Practices to conserve and restore wet meadows include:
- re-designing livestock water troughs or pipelines to maintain free water and wet meadows at springs;
- installation of grade control structures in incised channels
- various wetland restoration techniques