Sage Grouse Initiative Conifer Tools and Science

This free online mapping tool allows practitioners to easily visualize, download, and interact with resource data across the vast sagebrush sea. Powered by Google Earth Engine, the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) Web App uses the latest satellite imagery to perform instantaneous custom analyses, letting users quickly identify, compare, and evaluate opportunities for ecosystem restoration or threat-reduction.

“This new technology puts data directly into the hands of the people working on the ground. It helps prioritize conservation planning by providing a birds-eye view of the western landscape,” says Brady Allred, SGI research scientist.

The tool shows both a landscape-level view across ownership boundaries, as well as site-specific data for individual parcels. Data layers will be continually added to the Web App, which currently provide valuable habitat information such as encroachment by conifers, resistance to invasive weeds and wildfires, and changes in wet meadow and riparian habitat over time.

Collectively, the Web App increases conservation effectiveness by putting a landscape context around local projects, and by matching the right practices to the right places.


The Society for Range Management (SRM) released a special scientific journal issue focused entirely on the woody invasion of western rangelands. The studies in this issue Rangeland Ecology & Management describe solutions to help land managers and landowners cut trees in the right places for the good of wildlife and livestock. 

This research was presented at a symposium on January 31, 2017, as part of SRM’s annual conference. This event was live broadcasted online and recorded so it is now available for free here, thanks to the Bureau of Land Management.

Click here to see all the conifer science the Sage Grouse Initiative has produced.

Hannah Nikonow