Policy Changes Announced for the Greater Sage-Grouse
On Friday, August 4, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke issued a memo requesting the implementation of recommended actions from a Department of the Interior review regarding the management of the Greater Sage-Grouse.

A little background
Greater Sage-Grouse habitat covers an 11-state region within the Western U.S. All states within the habitat region have developed state-wide plans for managing the species.  Due to comprehensive conservation efforts across its range, in 2015 it was determined that the Greater Sage-Grouse did not warrant a listing under the Endangered Species Act. This conclusion followed a thorough review process that was completed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Also in 2015, the Obama administration put in place a federal plan for the species’ protection, which targeted public lands including those administered by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. 

What’s changing?
In June of this year, Zinke published an order requesting a review of the existing federal conservation plan for the species. The internal review committee’s report, which was released Friday with Zinke’s memo, includes specific recommendations for adapting the management approach for the bird, including revising habitat boundaries; modifying resource development policies; allowing states to set their own population standards; amongst others. The Bureau of Land Management, USFWS, and U.S. Geological Survey will begin working with States in the Greater Sage-Grouse’s habitat region to carry out the requested actions immediately.

Questions about how these changes may impact your site? 
Jana White, Senior Ecologist, PhD
[email protected]


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