BLM Greater Sage-grouse Plans
The BLM manages much of the best remaining sagebrush habitat for the Greater Sage-Grouse. As part of an unprecedented effort by dozens of partners across 11 western states, it has developed land use plans to conserve this habitat. These plans benefit not only the Greater Sage-Grouse, but some 350 other species of wildlife that rely on the sagebrush sea, and the many, many people who depend on it for their livelihoods and a source of recreation.
We’re not working alone. The U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation service are working alongside us, as are the western states and countless private land owners, with plans of their own. Where ever possible, we’re coordinating our efforts.
These plans focus on conserving and restoring the most valuable lands for maintaining the Greater Sage-Grouse and its habitat, places where the bird reproduces and sites with high quality sagebrush. They share three common approaches:
- Protecting intact habitat by capping the amount of disturbance on these lands and establishing buffers around the bird’s breeding grounds.
- Improving sagebrush habitat that has been damaged by wildfire, weed invasions and development.
- Reducing the threat of rangeland fire that can turn productive sagebrush habitat into weed-filled wastelands, particularly in the Great Basin region of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California.
Because of all these coordinated efforts, in 2015 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the Greater Sage-Grouse did not need the protections of the Endangered Species Act. We are confident that our plans will not only benefit the greater sage-grouse, but will also preserve the West’s heritage of ranching and outdoor recreation; protect hundreds of wildlife species that also rely on sagebrush habitat, such as pronghorn, mule deer and golden eagles; and promote balance between conservation and development.