The Latest on MSTI

The latest newsletter on MSTI reveals that the proposed route of a new Northwestern Energy 500 kilovolt electronic transmission line through the Pioneers-Craters landscape has officially been taken off the table. Northwestern Energy’s proposal was a warning shot to all of us who care about maintaining large wildlife populations, working farms and ranches, a diversity of ecosystems, and access for hunting and recreation in this area.

This decision was reached thanks in no small part to the grassroots efforts of the Pioneers Alliance, who in 2008, organized public meetings, contacted state and federal agencies, as well as elected officials and submitted comments on the proposal.

Read the MSTI Newsletter here.

Sagebrush Steppe Restoration

Here’s an interesting presentation on a sagebrush steppe restoration project at a profitable livestock operation in northern Utah. The Deseret Land & Livestock operation wanted to increase certain populations of wildlife, such as sage grouse and mule deer, and generally improve sagebrush habitat by using a proactive grazing management plan matched with several innovative landscape improvement techniques. The presentation shows a number of interesting results – check it out here.

Video on Salmon Ranchers Improving Habitat

Life on the Range recently put together this video showcasing what Ranchers have done in Salmon to improve habitat for spawning Steelhead and Salmon. Check it out:



Pronghorn Migrate from Lower Little Wood to Leadore

Pioneers Alliance partners are wrapping up the second year of a two-year pronghorn migration study. Recently, they recovered GPS collars that record the movements of 14 does between September 2009 and August 2010. Lighthawk and expert pilot Steven Garman helped them find the last collar.

Two results stand out when comparing new data with observations from the 2008-2009 migration:

  • Two does moved farther than any had in the previous year, traveling 150 miles one way and almost reaching Leadore, Idaho.
  • A narrow migration route between lower Fish Creek and Arco is identical in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 studies.

The National Park Service is already using migration data to modify their fences to better accommodate pronghorn passage. This fall, partners will be working with local landowners to map fences lines within the migration corridor to look for other opportunities to support movement of these animals.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has plans to build on this migration research, beginning with a winter capture planned for early December 2010.

The pronghorn research project has been a great success and we are grateful to all our partners!