Once seen in great numbers across the West, Greater Sage-Grouse have declined in number over the past century because of the loss of sagebrush habitats essential for their survival. Because of a court-ordered settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has until 2015 to make a final determination on listing the Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). State wildlife management agencies, along with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS), which administer most Federal lands in the West, are taking unprecedented steps to ensure the conservation of the Greater Sage-Grouse on public lands. Proactively implementing the right policies and conservation measures now will reduce long-term regulatory burdens on stakeholders. Ideally, the agencies can address the threats posed to the species from the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms through our National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning effort so we can eliminate the need to the list the species under the ESA.
The BLM, working jointly with the USFS, has released a series of draft Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) to address the effects of implementing proposed Greater Sage-Grouse conservation measures on the lands they manage. The public review and comment period for all of these drafts has been completed and the agencies are reviewing the input they received to prepare final EISs. The draft EISs used both localized data to assist in designing the most effective local conservation strategies and less-detailed regional data to help ensure that the agencies can accurately compare conservation approaches west-wide. The links to the state pages below provide background information about the draft EISs, including links to existing Greater Sage-Grouse conservation plans prepared by State wildlife management agencies, as well as contacts at the BLM who can provide additional information: