Unintended habitat loss on private land from grazing restrictions on public rangelands

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This study predicts that restricting grazing of public lands by 50% would result in the loss of an additional 171,400 ha of sage‐grouse habitat on private lands by 2050, on top of the 842,000 ha predicted to be lost under business as usual. Most of this conversion would affect sage‐grouse mesic habitat, 75% of which occurs on private land and is vital to the species during brood rearing. Under such policy changes, we estimate that an additional 105,700 ha (3.24%) of sage‐grouse mesic habitat held on private land in the study region would be directly lost by 2050, and the cumulative area affected by fragmentation would be much higher.

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