The Economics of Sagebrush: What Five Priority Sagebrush Landscapes Contribute to Western Economies

Western Values Project

[Press Release] Today, the Western Values Project released its Sagebrush Landscape Report, detailing the important contributions of sagebrush habitats to the economies of five regions across the West. The report follows the recently-released Department of Interior plans to protect the Greater sage-grouse as critical not only for sage-grouse populations, but also for the livelihoods in the West that rely on intact sagebrush habitat to thrive, such as recreation and farming.

The report finds that tourism and recreation across the sagebrush landscape in these five locations supports over 23,000 jobs, or 20% of all jobs in these regions. The sagebrush landscape is also an important supporter of farming and ranching livelihoods, with one in ten jobs across three of the five landscapes coming from agriculture that relies on intact landscapes to operate.

It’s clear from this report that Westerners need these sage-grouse conservation plans just as much as the sage-grouse does. The economic contributions of intact sagebrush—something that’s getting rarer and rarer in the West—are too big to ignore. We’re on the right track with these BLM plans, as well as the collaborative efforts of western stakeholders on the ground. Now, it’s time to take these conservation measures across the finish line and strengthen western economies…

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