The piñon pine, with large, edible nuts, often grows in conjunction with one or more species of juniper, and occupies more than 100 million acres across the U.S. West, but that is changing. Piñon and Juniper stands are disappearing at a rapidly increasing rate and no one seems to be talking about it.
Piñon-juniper woodlands have long been seen as invasive by U.S. federal land management agencies, scientists, and settlers of the region. Now Nevada’s gold mines are able to offset the sage grouse habitat they destroy by paying ranchers to remove PJ woodlands, with the convenient side effect of increased rangeland. Some tribes in the Great Basin disagree with claims that sage grouse cannot live in PJ woodlands, which have provided them with winter food for centuries . Scientists of the Great Basin tend to disagree.