The Nevada portion of the Owyhee Uplands within Humboldt County is a representative sample of quality sagebrush-steppe habitat. This is a vast area with subtle, yet diverse vegetative structure that is home to many species of wildlife including songbirds, raptors, pronghorn, deer, and especially Greater Sage-Grouse. There are approximately 110 sage-grouse leks within the Owyhee Uplands portion of the Owyhee Desert located within Humboldt County and about 53 of those leks are active with some leks having significant number of strutting males (>50) utilizing them during the spring. This is an area that has not yet been heavily influenced by cheatgrass of other invasive weed species. Other species of songbirds such as Sage Thrasher and Brewer's Sparrow are also numerous in this area. The majority of this area is public lands managed by the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Small private parcels are dispersed throughout the focus area. 

Conservation Issues

The primary conservation issue in this IBA are the loss of habitat due to catastrophic wildlife and subsequent invasion of annual grasses and other weeds. Some small streams and riparian areas are in need of restoration, particularly on the east side of the Calico Mountains. Other actions that would benefit the area include controlling cheatgrass and other invasive weeds along the main gravel dirt road that travels through Greely Crossing. Treatment of large decadent sagebrush stands (e.g. break up the large stands) is needed.


Since this area is representative of a classic sagebrush-steppe ecosystem (meaning various species of various sagebrush species) in successional stages with various canopy cover densities and quality understory grasses and forbs, it supports many sagebrush obligate and sagebrush associated avian and ungulate species. The sagebrush-steppe ecosystem has been severely affected over the last twenty years, especially by wildfire and the subsequent invasion of cheatgrass. 

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