BLM Sage-grouse Plans

With partners at the state and local levels, we are working to safeguard the landscapes on which greater sage-grouse and more than 350 other species rely for survival, and for the benefit of people who rely on them to support livelihoods and traditions now and in the future.

More than 70 resource management plans (RMPs) were adopted in 2015 to guide these efforts.

We are currently considering amending the 2015 plans to account for new scientific information and changing conditions accelerated by the effects of climate change. This planning aims to support persistent, healthy sage-grouse populations, consistent with BLM policy and in cooperation with state governments and other conservation partners.

We are committed to helping address continued declines in sage-grouse populations and loss of habitat. Our management policy requires us to take proactive measures to manage sensitive species so that they do not require federal protections (BLM Manual 6840.02.B). We will address ispecific ssues identified through scoping (see link to Report at-right), apply lessons learned from implementing the 2015 plans, and address concerns raised in court rulings. 

Beyond meeting the letter and spirit of Bureau policy, the balanced, sustainable management of sagebrush ecosystem to conserve sage-grouse also benefits hundreds of other wildlife species, as well as public land users and local communities across the West. 

A conceptual summary of preliminary draft alternatives for the current round of planning shows the agency's work to this point in the process. Specific language for each alternative is still being developed in coordination with our cooperating agencies. 

Questions may be directed to BLM_HQ_GRSG_Planning@blm.gov

 


Withdrawal of Sagebrush Focal Areas  

The 2015 management plans include a recommendation that the Secretary of the Interior withdraw habitats designated as sagebrush focal areas (SFAs) from eligibility under the Mining Law of 1872 (subject to valid existing rights). SFAs encompass about 10 million acres of Federal lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. 

The BLM has resumed its evaluation of the proposed withdrawal of SFAs from mineral location and entry and will issue a new draft EIS for public review, separate from the EIS analyzing proposed amendments to the 2015 plans. 

 

A sagebrush seedling in dry cracked ground
Sagebrush grows year-round, even in the winter. Its branches hold blowing snow in the landscape to water spring and summer growth, even in periods of drought.
The winter sun shines over sagebrush and drifted snow
Photos courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Tom Koerner) In winter, the sage-steppe lands of the American West are awash in white drifts and...
a little brown myotis bat on rocky soil
Bats are vital to the health of economies and natural ecosystems -- even sagebrush-steppe! While sage is not these little mammals' primary habitat, many state...
Wildland fire burning in sage-steppe, Idaho 2007
Story by Heather Feeney, BLM Public Affairs Specialist Photos by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM-Idaho Wildland fire is a major, ongoing threat to habitat...
Sage-grouse fly in the air with a snowy mountain in the background.
By Heather Feeney, Public Affairs Specialist Photos courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Tom Koerner) Winter washes the sage-steppe with white drifts and long...

2015 Plans

VIEW the 2015 plans for each state, along with amendments adopted in 2019 and additional environmental analysis completed in 2020. 

Changes made in 2019 and 2020 have been enjoined by court order, and until legal issues are resolved, the BLM is using the 2015 plans to guide its management actions on behalf of greater sage-grouse. 

Oregon | Idaho | Nevada/Northeastern California | Utah | Wyoming | Colorado 


These plans were not amended by decisions in 2019 or 2020:  

N. Dakota | S. Dakota 
Montana :: Miles City | HiLine | Billings | Lewistown 2020 RMP : 2015 RMPA | Southwest MT 

Scoping 2022

Read the Report
The Scoping Report summarizes comments received on issues to consider in updates to the 2015 management plans. It identifies general topics that will be analyzed in the draft environmental impact statement (EIS).