USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Integrated Management of the Greater Prairie Chicken and Livestock on the Sheyenne National Grassland

GIF -- Cover Drawing

A literature review and background study completed for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service

Agency Coordinators: Authors:
Michael Mckenna, Chief
Natural Resources Division
North Dakota Game and Fish Department
Bismarck, ND
W. Daniel Svedarsky
Northwest Experiment Station
University of Minnesota
Crookston, MN 56716
Steve Williams
Dakota External Relations Coordinator
U.S. Forest Service
Bismarck, U.S.
Gerald L. Van Amburg
Biology Department
Concordia College
Moorhead, MN 56562


Managing the landscape for a variety of resource values can be a challenging enterprise depending on the needs of the human and natural resources. Favoring one resource might constrain, or benefit, another resource. How to strike a balance in the integrated management of resources is often difficult, but necessary, in order to have a healthy environment and economy.

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 appeal.

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. Kalmbach:

"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).

This resource is based on the following source:
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).

***Note: This resource makes reference to appendices which are not being served.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

The Sheyenne National Grasslands
Description of Area
Cultural History
Grazing Systems

Key Issues
Nesting Cover
Brood Period
Winter Food
Roosting Cover
Movements and Migration
Minimum Viable Populations
Disease
Predation
Opportunities on Private Land
Prairie Chickens and Sharp-tailed Grouse
Leafy Spurge Infestations and Control
Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species
Effects of Fire and Mowing
Livestock Grazing and Wildlife Habitat
A Focus on Lowlands
Monitoring Systems

Recommendations
Literature Cited


Downloading Instructions -- Instructions on downloading and extracting files from this site.
(Download) sheyenne.zip (265K) -- Integrated Management of the Greater Prairie Chicken and Livestock on the Sheyenne National Grassland
Installation: Extract all files and open index.htm in a web browser.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/sheyenne/index.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 19:55:53 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]