In March 2010, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published its listing decision for the greater sage-grouse as “Warranted but Precluded.” Inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms was identified as a major threat to the species in the USFWS finding on the petition to list the greater sage-grouse. The USFWS has identified the principal regulatory mechanisms for the BLM and Forest Service as conservation measures in Resource Management Plans (RMPs) and Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMPs), respectively.
Based on the identified threats to the greater sage-grouse and the USFWS timeline for making a listing decision on this species, the BLM and FOrest Service need to incorporate clear and specific objectives and adequate conservation measures into RMPs and LRMPs by September 2014 in order to conserve greater sage-grouse and avoid a potential listing under the Endangered Species Act. The planning strategy will evaluate the adequacy of BLM RMPs and Forest Service LRMPs and address, as necessary, revisions and amendments throughout the range of the greater sage-grouse (with the exception of the bi-state population in California and Nevada and the Washington state population segment, which will be addressed through other planning efforts). For the Utah Sub-Region, that involves review of decisions in 14 BLM and 6 Forest Service land use plans that contain some greater sage-grouse habitat within the planning areas (see map).
The proposed strategy is a major federal action which requires the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The BLM and Forest Service will continue to seek public and agency input to identify issues to address in the EISs and coordinate with other federal, state, and local government agencies in preparing the EISs. The BLM and Forest Service will conduct detailed environmental studies on the proposed and alternative policies, and analyze how implementation of the policies may affect the quality of the environment.
- Learn more about the BLM’s national sage-grouse planning effort