HELENA – The state Land Board has approved restrictions meant to protect sage grouse habitat.
The board voted unanimously Monday to prohibit breaking up native range and eradicating sage brush in the bird’s habitat.
A waiver is possible for land-break requests of 20 acres or less by farmers seeking to square up field edges or to install irrigation systems.
Sage brush treatments that drop the canopy cover to 30 percent or less of the total area treated will require a plan to improve the habitat.
Department of Natural Resources and Conservation director John Tubbs says the agency receives very few requests to break blocks of native range or eradicate sage brush.
DNRC also will have to consider additional criteria when evaluating grazing leases. A corrective plan will be required if sage grouse habitat is being harmed.