$1M in funding awarded to preserve Montana sagebrush ecosystems

Billings Gazette

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved more than $1 million in spending on four Montana projects to restore and conserve sagebrush ecosystems.

The funding includes $500,000 for the Southwest Montana Sage Steppe Resiliency Project in Beaverhead County; $431,500 to maintain sagebrush cores in Montana’s northern Great Plains; almost $98,000 for addressing threats to sagebrush in the Musselshell Plains; and $70,000 to treat Japanese brome on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.

For some of the projects this is the second year of funding. In Beaverhead County, for example, several government and nonprofit groups are working to remove 4,000 acres of conifers invading core sagebrush areas. The work includes restoration of 350 acres of habitat near Wisdom. Another 1,500 acres of invasive annual grasses near Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will also be treated.

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