Sage-Grouse Habitat Protected by Historic Obama Administration Plans

Sage-Grouse Habitat Protected by Historic Obama Administration Plans
WLI_sagegrouse14_raw_ri_HO_19491Jeannie Stafford/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Sagebrush habitat—home to pronghorn antelope, the greater sage-grouse, and hundreds of other species—stretches across 10 Western states.

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management issued final Records of Decision on Sept. 22 to implement historic plans that responsibly balance conservation with energy development on millions of acres of public lands across 10 Western states. This is the largest conservation effort ever undertaken by the Bureau of Land Management and the biggest land protection initiative of the Obama administration.

  1. These strong, science-based plans will protect the greater sage-grouse, more than 350 other species of wildlife—including pronghorn, golden eagles, elk, and mule deer—and the Western way of life. 
  2. Sagebrush landscape is an important economic driver. Camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, and many other recreational activities on these public lands generate an annual economic output of $1 billion.
  3. A bipartisan poll conducted in June found that 75 percent of voters in counties where greater sage-grouse live believe the bird’s habitat should be conserved.
pronghornwickBob Wick

Pronghorn antelope and sage-grouse depend on healthy sagebrush habitat for their survival.

Leslie_Duncan_sagebrush_photoThe Pew Charitable Trusts

Sagebrush country provides world-class hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, and birding

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On May 28, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze met in Wyoming with that state's governor, Matt Mead (R), to announce the release of 14 BLM sage-grouse management plans. At issue is the fate of tens of millions of acres of public land that are home to the greater sage-grouse, as well as to elk, mule deer, pronghorns, golden eagles, and hundreds of other species. The sage-grouse is an indicator species: Its population reflects the ecological health of much of the interior West.

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