Print Page

<<Back to 2011 IMs

United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

February 11, 2011

6500 (MT923) P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2011-026
Expires: 9/30/2012
To:                   Leadership Advisory Team
From:               State Director
Subject:           Data Call for the Annual Review of the Greater Sage-grouse         DD: 2/18/2011
Program Area: Fire, Wildlife, and Threatened and Endangered Species Programs
Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum is to request data on impacts to greater sage-grouse habitats in the lands administered by the Montana/Dakotas Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Policy/Action: The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is soliciting new information regarding changes in the status of the greater sage-grouse, its habitats, or scientific understanding of the species and its habitats. As per the attached data request (Attachment 1), please provide any information you have for habitat status and trends (habitat loss from development, fire, etc.) including available geospatial information for each action. Additional information you may have concerning other areas of this data request, such as for disease and predation or other factors should also be included in your response. Use the attached table (Attachment 2) to provide known impacts to sage-grouse habitats on the BLM-administered lands to David Wood (MT923), and send shapefiles to Randy Schardt (MT923). Information on regulatory mechanisms including resource management plan (RMP) status and guidance will be coordinated at the state office by the Planning and Biological Resources Branch. 
Timeframe: The time period to be reported on for this data request is October 2009 through January 2011. Responses are due by close of business February 18, 2011.
Budget Impact: The budget impact is minimal.
Background: Following the March 2010 finding that the greater sage-grouse is warranted but precluded for listing under the Endangered Species Act, the FWS will conduct an annual review to determine if the species’ and/or its habitat(s)’ status has changed to the point that there is a need to change the determination on the species.  Changes could include ONE of the following:  an immediate proposal to list; taking the species off the candidate list entirely (it would no longer warrant listing); no change in the species status (it remains a candidate with its current listing priority number); or the species remains a candidate but there is a change in the listing priority number. 
The March 2010 finding for the greater sage-grouse identified habitat loss and fragmentation and insufficient regulatory mechanisms as the primary factors for designating the species as warranted for listing.  The data call was received at the BLM Montana State Office on February 4, 2011.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None.
Coordination: This IM was coordinated by the Branch of Planning and Biological Resources (MT923).
Contact: If you have questions or need further guidance, please contact David Wood, Conservation Biologist, at (406) 896-5246.
Signed by:                                                                                 Authenticated by:
Jamie E. Connell                                                                       Melissa R. Dykes
State Director                                                                           Staff Assistant (MT923)
2 Attachments
     2. Habitat Status Spreadsheet (1 p)

Last updated: 06-28-2012