Utah Community-Based
Conservation Program

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QCNR Facebook NEWS-Terry Messmer receives the Robert L. Patterson Award

People releasing wild birds

Dr. Terry Messmer was recently honored with the Robert L. Patterson Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to conservation of sage-grouse and sharp-tailed grouse from the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. It noted Messmer's efforts on the Utah Community-based Conservation Program, which engages stakeholders most affected by conservation decisions.

"This is validation by my peers of a life-long commitment to a search for truth and the role of science is our lives. It's a validation of the process of stakeholder engagement," said Messmer.

The CBCP fostered a new dialogue about the sagebrush ecosystem and the role of local working groups. Each local working groups was unique in that they were locally-led and adapted to local needs and situations. They realized they needed better information to guide conservation actions. Most did not initially trust the published research on grouse, the scientists doing it, and more specifically, the decision-makers using it to set conservation policies.

The phrase "best available science" to them meant information used to regulate their livelihoods. These perceptions were fueled by the failure of the scientific community to more fully engage stakeholders in the discovery process.

"Building trust requires all stakeholders to be fully engaged in processes committed equally to learning about each other and the landscapes while they are actively managing them," said Messmer. "When stakeholders are forced to make a choice between taking care of their livelihoods or participating in a meeting about conservation, the livelihood wins. An education or natural resources conservation strategy that does not embrace this reality will fail."

Utah Community-Based Conservation Program 2021-2022 Annual Report

We are celebrating 25 years of engaging Utah stakeholders in community-based conservation local working groups.  In the 

1990s, there were 65 local working groups range-wide that brought together partners to work together to conserve greater and Gunnison sage-grouse.  Many of these efforts have waned.  Today, only a few local working groups remain active.  This report contains highlights from this past year, a brief history, and a chronology of sage-grouse conservation efforts.  Thanks to the efforts and support of the local working groups, Utah now has an unparalleled central database of over 1 million sage-grouse locations that includes population vital rates and habitat use. This database has generated over 30 peer-reviewed publications, that now provide the best science available to guide species conservation in Utah.  We could not have done this without the involvement and support of the partners.

Greater sage-grouse habitat selection varies across the marginal habitat of its lagging range margin

by Aidan T Beers, Shandra N. Frey

Rich County Sage-Grouse Field Report June 2022

Rich County Sage-Grouse Field Report: January-May 2022

Recent Publications

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Utah Community-Based
Conservation Program

Utah State University
5230 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-5230

Email: terry.messmer@usu.edu
Phone: (435) 797-3396