The greater sage-grouse inhabits sagebrush-steppe lands in western North America and may be best known for the distinctive mating ritual it performs on flat, open patches of the sagebrush sea. More densely vegetated parts of the ecosystem are crucial for later portions of the birds' lifecycle, carried on alongside more than 350 other species that inhabit the biome.
These same lands also sustain Western rural economies built on outdoor recreation, ranching, farming, energy development and small businesses.
For decades, federal, state and private land managers have worked to conserve and restore the sagebrush ecosystem, with federal agencies managing habitat on the lands whose surface they administer and states managing and monitoring wildlife populations.
Moving forward to conserve habitat
The BLM manages sagebrush habitat on public lands according to resource management plans adopted in 2015. Monitoring data and new science show that in the intervening years, sage-grouse populations have continued to decline in some areas and that various factors - including the effects of climate change - hinder habitat conservation and restoration.
The BLM is committed to reversing these trends, and we are currently considering amendments to the 2015 plans to support persistent, healthy sage-grouse populations. We will again rely on science and are working closely with states, local governments, Tribes and other conservation partners in the cooperative fashion that has served us well for more than a decade.
Even as we engage in planning, the BLM continues to invest in habitat treatments, to restore critical areas and make remaining habitat more resilient to various stressors and threats.
In addition, we continue analyzing the environmental effects of withdrawing sagebrush focal areas (SFAs) from mineral location and entry using continued engagement with stakeholders and the best available science.
Snow is coming to the sagebrush.