Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation

Working With Others

State and National Partners

Click on this link to be directed to a list of some of the BLM's many national wildlife partners and for information about State Wildlife Action Plans.

Working Together for Wildlife Habitat Improvement

In order to provide for the long-term protection of wildlife on public lands, the BLM's Wildlife Program supports aggressive habitat conservation and restoration activities, many funded by partnerships with Federal, State and non-governmental organizations. Two special funds direct support toward these efforts.

Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Fund

Funds from the BLM's Wildlife Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Fund support projects that are best able to maintain and manage wildlife habitat to help ensure self-sustaining populations and a natural abundance and diversity of wildlife resources on public lands. Click on the link below for examples of recently funded wildlife habitat enhancement projects.

Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Fund Projects

Sage-Grouse Conservation Fund

There are many natural and human-caused factors causing fragmentation and loss of sagebrush habitats across much of the western United States. Sagebrush ecosystem conservation in support of sagebrush obligate species, including the sage-grouse, a Candidate Species, remains a primary focus for the BLM. 

The BLM's Wildlife Program supports sage-grouse conservation projects undertaken in partnership with a variety of stakeholders and consistent with State-led sage-grouse conservation plans, State Wildlife Action Plans and Sage-Grouse Local Working Group Plans as well as with BLM’s national strategy and BLM state-level strategies. Click on the link below for examples of recently funded sage-grouse conservation projects.

Sage Grouse Conservation Fund Projects

Wild Sheep Habitat Mapping

The maps below serve as tools to identify areas of potential overlap between bighorn sheep-occupied habitat and domestic sheep grazing, including trailing authorizations.  These maps represent a joint effort between the BLM and the Forest Service, in coordination with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Wild Sheep Working Group, to map bighorn sheep-occupied habitat and domestic sheep grazing allotments.

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Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Fund Case Study

Surveys Improve Moose Management in Alaska

Moose are an important part of the Alaskan landscape and culture. They are one of the most hunted big game animals in the State, and rural Alaskans depend on an abundant moose population for subsistence uses. The BLM works throughout the State with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and local governments and communities to ensure moose populations meet the needs of rural Alaskans. Monitoring moose population trends is an important part of this proactive approach.

administering medicine to a moose

Biologists administer penicillin to moose that are collared, as a precaution.

State and federal agencies, including the BLM, are funding a number of aerial moose surveys in order to gather information about the health and productivity of these populations. Aerial surveys of moose do not count all of the animals, however, nor do they provide sufficient information on seasonal moose movements or habitat use. Satellite tracking of collared animals can help fill in these details and improve the BLM’s ability to manage moose and their capability to meet local subsistence needs.

One such survey is taking place in Western Interior Alaska’s Game Management Area 21E, encompassing portions of the Yukon and Innoko River drainages between Grayling and Holy Cross. Moose in this area are a critical subsistence resource, yet there is a perceived decline in moose abundance and a shortage of information about moose movements.  Moose tend to congregate in the Yukon-Innoko floodplain in winter, but the number remaining during the fall hunting season is unknown. The survey will help define seasonal movements, identify spring calving areas, determine habitat preferences, test visibility of moose during aerial surveys, and estimate twinning rates, a measure of nutritional condition related to habitat quality.

The work began in February 2009 when agency biologists got together with local villagers from Anvik and Holy Cross, who shared their traditional knowledge about moose migration patterns. Partially based on this local information, biologists from the three agencies were able to obtain funding for the project. In March 2010, the researchers collared 30 cows and 24 bulls within the Yukon and Innoko River drainages. They will monitor their movements monthly through 2014. The data collected will help state and federal agencies meet objectives for more informed management decisions regarding moose populations. It also will support the goals of the Yukon Innoko Moose Management Plan and BLM Bering Seas Western Interior Resource Management Plan.

The program involves partnerships with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge, as well as working with the Tribal Councils of Grayling, Anvik, Shageluk, and Holy Cross. This project is supported by the Western Interior Regional Advisory Council.  The WIRAC is made up of representatives of local residents who are experts in subsistence, recreation, and commercial activities. The Council makes recommendations on fish and wildlife regulatory proposals affecting their area.

The BLM is also developing an “Adopt a Moose” educational program around this collaring project. Local students follow "their" satellite collared moose and agency staff work with teachers on educational presentations such as moose biology, traditional knowledge, predators, subsistence, and how technology such as GPS and computers can be integrated into modern wildlife management.


Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Fund Case Study

Utah's Pariette Wetlands Benefit Waterfowl, Shorebirds

Landscape view of Pariette Wetlands in UtahThe Pariette Wetlands are among only a few wetlands managed by the BLM and are the largest BLM-managed wetlands in the State of Utah. The wetlands consist of 9,033 acres outside of Vernal; about 2,529 acres are managed specifically as aquatic habitat.

The Pariette Wetlands are an important stopping place for waterfowl and neotropical bird species migrating along the eastern portion of the Pacific Flyway, offering sanctuary in an area of few wetlands and increased energy development. The Pariette Wetlands also serve as an outdoor laboratory for selenium-bearing sediment research from upstream development activities.

In managing the wetlands, the BLM partners with Utah State University-Uintah Basin, whose wildlife and fisheries interns perform population and trend studies for a number of species, including several species of special management concern. Students also gain hands-on experience in wetland management techniques, including noxious weed treatments, water quality sampling, and maintaining water levels in 23 ponds.

Maintaining water levels in the ponds is extremely important for shorebirds and waterfowl as well as for other water-dependant wildlife species such as bald eagle, peregrine falcon, American white pelican, long-billed curlew, northern river otter, ferruginous hawk, and golden eagle.  These are State Sensitive species in the Utah State Wildlife Action Plan or species of special management concern. One federally-listed plant species and three additional state-sensitive wildlife species are found in the desert shrub uplands of the area.

Group of white pelicans on small island of a pond

Above: White pelicans on Shoveler Pond, part of  Pariette Wetlands.

The BLM has developed a number of additional partnerships in the community who support the agency in wetlands management and enhancement. These include the Utah Army National Guard, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah Division of Water Quality, Ducks Unlimited, Escape Club from Vernal Jr. High, Myton Elementary School and local Boy Scout Troops.

Students in a boat and standing in the water repairing nesting structures in a pond

Left: Students fix elevated goose nesting structures. The structures sometimes get knocked over during spring thaw and must be righted before nesting season.

 

 

 

 


Sage-Grouse Conservation Fund Case Study

Satellite Tracking of Sage-Grouse Helps Determine Seasonal Uses of Habitat in Central Wyoming

Sage-grouseSage-grouse are relatively common on public lands in Natrona County west of Casper, Wyoming, yet significant data gaps exist in understanding sage-grouse distribution and habitat use in the area.

The BLM has documented nearly 300 sage-grouse leks but has limited information on seasonal habitat distribution; the migratory status of several populations is unknown; and the impacts of human activities on these populations also are not clearly understood. 

The BLM is in the third year of a project that seeks to fill in some of these information gaps and determine more precisely which habitat areas are used by sage-grouse for breeding, nesting, brood rearing, ansage grouse hen in shrubd wintering. Within a million-acre study area in western Natrona County, the BLM has fitted more than 100 sage-grouse with VHF collars in order to track them from the air and ground to determine seasonal habitat use.

Scientists collect location data from the air with a VHF receiver that pinpoints locations; these locations are then recorded with GPS receivers that collect date, time and collar identification. Scientists then analyze the information to determine if populations are migratory or non-migratory and to delineate routes used by sage-grouse migrating between seasonal habitats.

This information will help managers conserve sage-grouse and raise local awareness of sage grouse conservation issues. Partners include the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Bates Hole/Shirley Basin Local Sage Grouse Working Group, Wyoming Partners in Flight, and Audubon .

Radio collared sage-grouse