[Photo by Andrea Nelson / Courtesy of The Nature Conservancy]

Eight volunteers braved frigid temperatures and blowing snow last week to plant 11,000 tiny sagebrush seedlings at The Nature Conservancy’s Gunnison Sage-Grouse Preserve in San Juan County on March 29 and March 30.

They were joined by staffers from The Nature Conservancy and the Utah Division of Natural Resources.

Tractors from the Division of Natural Resources created planting furrows, staffers placed the seedlings in the furrows, and volunteers and staff members worked to tamp down and secure each plant in the soil.

They saw five Gunnison sage-grouse, including three males and two females, at a lek site where the male birds strut around.