Sage Grouse Initiative Strategic Watershed Action Team

The Sage Gouse Initiative (SGI) Strategic Watershed Action Team (SWAT) was established in 2011 to build field capacity and strengthen the science guiding SGI. The IWJV, in close collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at multiple levels, manages the SWAT to achieve the following:

  • Increase field-level capacity by placing specialized human skill sets at critical geographic “pinch points” to increase SGI benefits.
  • Increase science capacity to better focus SGI implementation, assess biological outcomes, and continually improve program delivery.
  • Improve and enhance outreach and communication strategies to increase partner buy-in and SGI participation from landowners.
  • Expand SGI partnership to further leverage NRCS contributions resulting in increased outcomes and participation.

The SGI SWAT is facilitated by an agreement between NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in which NRCS provided $9.3 million to the FWS to be managed by the IWJV. The IWJV leveraged the NRCS investment by raising over 25% of the funds needed to implement the SGI SWAT from an array of conservation partners, including the FWS, state wildlife and agricultural agencies, conservation districts, non-governmental conservation organizations, and corporations.

The cornerstone of this effort is 24 natural resource specialists assembled to live and work in key ranching communities within the sage grouse range – from Lakeview, Oregon to Belle Fouche, South Dakota. These range conservationists and wildlife biologists provide direct on-the-ground technical assistance to private landowners and facilitate conservation projects that improve sage grouse habitat and the sustainability of ranching. In addition, the SWAT team also includes scientists, communication specialists, and other conservation professionals working to achieve the objectives described above.

Contact Sage Grouse Initiative Strategic Watershed Action Team

Dave Smith
Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) Coordinator
1001 S. Higgins Avenue
Suite A1
Missoula, Montana  59801
Phone: 406.549.0732
Fax: 406.549.0496


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator