Argenta Rock Creek Headwaters Dead Grouse Spring
The NRST BLM-USFS-Cow Consultant Team of riparian “experts” (who exhibit extraordinary bias towards the interests of the permittees) drive right by severely degraded springs, meadows and drainages in Argenta – en route to cherry-picked monitoring sites located in places that show less grazing damage, and/or to monitor inside exclosures. They turn a blind eye to the cattle-devastated landscape they are driving through.
There is severe, ongoing cattle damage to this spring, eroding hummocks, the vile water conditions, the lack of riparian cover, etc.
Note the tuft of sage-grouse feathers with a bit of skin. There were many fresh grouse feathers, and clear evidence of predation. It appeared a bird had just been predated at the site the same day. One can see why sage-grouse are sitting ducks here – livestock have stripped away all cover and battered down adjacent shrubs, too.
There aren’t any sage-grouse to spare in the Argenta allotment. On top of the scorched earth livestock grazing under the NRST Group, foreign mines are chewing up habitat in surrounding lands. As the drought-denying Argenta permittees continued to beat the area to death in the drought, NDOW closed the general area to sage-grouse hunting because of low grouse numbers.
Battle Mountain BLM had issued a Decision closing 7 Mountain Pastures crucial to sage-grouse in Argenta to grazing in the drought, but the 2015 Settlement that imposed the NRST cover up of grazing damage, also flung the pastures wide open to grazing – so they received no healing rest. The Settlement was orchestrated by former NV BLM Director and Cattlemen lackey John Ruhs. Ruhs now has a high position with the Trump/Zinke Interior Department in DC.
The last hummocks at the headwater spring are just about to erode away … due to extreme cattle trampling and grazing impacts.
Water trying to establish flow patterns in the muck and mire of the cow abused spring.
Uncontrolled trampling by half ton cows desiccates springs and meadows, and tears apart the protective vegetation- exposing the site to drying and erosion.
Clump of sage-grouse feathers. Cows have stripped protective cover and broken down shrubs near the spring as well. So birds are easy pickings for predators.