Jun 11, 2015

Documentary on sagebrush steppe and its wildlife to be shown Saturday

“For the sage and the grouse, the future is uncertain.”

That's one of the big ideas behind an hour-long documentary,  “The Sagebrush Sea,” that will be given a free Saturday showing at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

A sage grouse is seen in this promotional still from "The Sagebrush Sea." Courtesy photo
The family-friendly film will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in the center's Draper Natural History Museum.

It highlights North America's iconic sagebrush steppe — a vast wilderness spanning 250,000 square miles and brimming with hardy life. The film tracks sage grouse, golden eagles, mule deer, pronghorn, badgers, hawks and other animals through the seasons as they struggle to survive in the rugged and changing landscape.

With an increasing presence of wells, pipelines and housing, the sage sea is becoming more and more fragmented, impacting habitats and migratory corridors, the film's producers found.

Of the 500,000 square miles of sagebrush steppe that once stretched across North America, only half remains. The greater sage grouse, completely reliant on the sagebrush, is in decline.

“The Sagebrush Sea” was originally aired nationally in May on the PBS series NATURE.

Saturday’s event is being organized by the University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute, Audubon Rockies and The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming. It's part of the Wyoming BioBlitz, occurring this weekend at the Heart Mountain Ranch between Cody and Powell.

You can watch a trailer for the “The Sagebrush Sea” below:

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