Wildfires Destroy Sage Grouse Habitat; May Take Years To Recover

Aug 13, 2018, 6:23 PM | Updated: 10:38 pm

GROUSE CREEK, Utah – Hundreds of thousands of acres of sage grouse habitat have already been destroyed in Utah wildfires. Officials said rehabilitating those areas will take years.

From the Goose Creek Fire alone, nearly 140,000 acres of sage grouse habitat in Box Elder County have already been destroyed, according to the Bureau of Land Management, and around Utah the damage has been widespread.

Ben Nadolski with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

“We get wildfires every year, so sage grouse are used to it, but this year’s been worse than normal, and we expect to see more,” said Ben Nadolski, Sage Grouse Policy Coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Services.

Nadolski said it was too soon to know how much habitat has been destroyed statewide. While rehabilitation efforts will soon begin, it will still take about two years to restore any of those areas.

“Catastrophic wildfire is the number one threat to greater sage grouse throughout the western United States,” said Nadolski.

Luckily, Nadokski said the state of Utah puts forth more efforts to rehabilitate sage grouse habitats than any other state.

“We put more tools on the ground than any other state in the U.S.” Nadolski said. “We’re used to having wildfires, and we have a lot of tools at our discretion here.”

According to the BLM, many of the sage grouse population affected by the Goose Creek Fire will likely move on to other areas in Utah, as well as across the border in Nevada and Idaho.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Human-caused wildfires went from 893 to 450 in two years

The last two wildfire seasons in Utah show signs progress of reducing the number of human-caused fires.
7 days ago
(Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NF/Twitter)...
Cary Schwanitz

South Fork fire 50% contained

Fire managers said the South Fork Fire burning in Provo Canyon south of Vivian Park was 50% contained Tuesday.
14 days ago
(Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NF/Twitter)...
Madison Swenson

Fire crews work to extinguish blaze in Provo Canyon

Multiple agencies are responding to a new wildfire that broke out Monday afternoon in Provo Canyon.
15 days ago
A school classroom with chairs and desks...
Brooke Williams

Project to provide air purifiers in Utah K-12 classrooms

Cleaner air improves student performance, decreases COVID transmission and school absenteeism. New project provides air purifiers for classrooms in Utah.
20 days ago
Firefighters use aircraft to battle a wildfire south of Salem, Oregon, on September 9. (Andrew Sels...
Amir Vera and Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Smoke from the Mosquito Fire begins creating unhealthy to hazardous conditions in northern California

A wall of smoke from the Mosquito Fire in the Sierra Nevada mountains is creating hazardous conditions in Northern California, choking the air with smoke as strong winds complicate firefighting efforts.
22 days ago
smoke settling in rocky mountains...
Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Air quality worsens as 94 fires burn across Western US, Kay weakens

There are currently 94 large, active fires burning across eight states in the West, threatening local air quality.
23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Wildfires Destroy Sage Grouse Habitat; May Take Years To Recover