Final Environmental Impact Statements on Sage Grouse Habitat in Ten States

US Interior Dept. (scroll down to bottom of page for links to state EIS reports)

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 and are now candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Greater sage-grouse habitat covers 165 million acres across 11 states in the West, a loss of 56% from the species’ historic range. At one time, the greater sage-grouse population likely numbered in the millions, but is estimated to have dwindled to 200,000 to 500,000 individuals range-wide.

As part of an unprecedented and proactive partnership to conserve the uniquely American habitat that supports iconic wildlife, outdoor recreation, ranching and other traditional land uses, the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are working together to ensure the conservation of the west’s sagebrush habitats…

The BLM, in cooperation with the Forest Service and its partners, has developed a series of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) to incorporate greater sage-grouse conservation measures into the land use plans for the lands they manage. These EISs are now final. The EISs will undergo a 60-day Governor’s Consistency Review, followed by the Records of Decision finalizing the land use plans and land use plan amendments in late summer. These plans all anticipate ongoing relationships with our cooperators and partners in designing and implementing greater sage-grouse conservation actions. To learn more about the plans, read our Fact Sheet.

The EISs focus on conserving Priority Habitat areas that have been identified as having the highest value to maintaining the species and its habitat. Land use measures in Priority Habitat are designed to minimize or avoid habitat disturbance. Within Priority Habitat, specific areas have been identified as Sagebrush Focal Areas. The Sagebrush Focal Areas are important landscape blocks with high breeding population densities of sage-grouse and existing high quality sagebrush. The EISs also designate General Habitat Management Areas, which provide greater flexibility for land use activities.

The plans contain three common approaches…


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