Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
| Michael Mckenna, Chief
Natural Resources Division
North Dakota Game and Fish Department
| W. Daniel Svedarsky
Northwest Experiment Station
University of Minnesota
Crookston, MN 56716
| Steve Williams
Dakota External Relations Coordinator
U.S. Forest Service
| Gerald L. Van Amburg
Moorhead, MN 56562
The Sheyenne National Grasslands provide a wonderful case study where a
large number of resource issues exist: livestock production - an integral
part of the local economy, greater prairie chickens - essentially the last
stand of the colorful bird in the state, leafy spurge - a troublesome weed
which threatens essentially all of the other resource values, the prairie
fringed orchid - a nationally threatened plant, and the preservation of the
largest contiguous tract of tallgrass prairie in North Dakota. The long-term
goal for the Grasslands should focus on sustainability - to have a vibrant
prairie ecosystem which can provide for some of the needs of man and a functional
array of plants and animals. One of the featured wildlife species at the Grasslands
is the greater prairie chicken; a bird of immense historical and aesthetic
This report was developed for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department
in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service to provide background material
to a conservation strategy committee which will develop management standards
and guidelines to ensure the long-term viability of the resident prairie chickens
in conjunction with livestock grazing on the Sheyenne National Grasslands.
An extensive review of the literature was conducted along with interviews
of resource specialists familiar with the Grasslands and/or with prairie grouse.
The focus has been to describe the optimum ecological needs of greater prairie
chickens along with various management considerations. No one has all the
answers; what we know at some point in time regarding prairie chicken ecology
or range management, is, in the words of Fran Hamerstrom, "merely
a progress report." As we scientists, ranchers, or land managers
endeavor to apply knowledge and expertise to the prairie to manage chickens
and cows, we would do well to humbly consider the following words by E.R.
"Simple processes of reasoning are not always the soundest. Contentions that seem readily apparent may in fact be deficient through neglect of important factors, lack of proper perspective, absence of sufficient evidence to obliterate temporary or local distortions, or through other circumstances that might lead to faulty deductions. Opinions regarding wildlife relationships are frequently based on imperfect evidence, and, probably more than in any other field of human thought, there also crops up that chronic mental quirk of being most easily convinced of that which is most satisfying to believe." (Kalmbach, 1939:591).
Svedarsky, Daniel and Gerald Van Amburg. 1996. Integrated management of the greater prairie chicken and livestock on the Sheyenne National Grassland. North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Bismarck, ND. 113pp.This resource should be cited as:
Svedarsky, Daniel and Gerald Van Amburg. 1996. Integrated management of the greater prairie chicken and livestock on the Sheyenne National Grassland. North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Bismarck, ND. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/sheyenne/index.htm (Version 16JUL97).