Greater Sage-Grouse

Conserving America's Future

Greater Sage-Grouse.  Credit: USFWS.

Why care about sagebrush?


Sagebrush country may look empty, but sagebrush is home to important wildlife and other natural resources. Learn more here.

Greater Sage-Grouse in field. Credit: USFWS.

Conservation Partners


Sage-grouse conservation happens on the ground. Learn more about what our partners are doing here.

Greater Sage-Grouse distribution map. Credit: USFWS.

Resources


Explore grouse research, maps, fact sheets, official documents and links.


Service Seeking Greater Sage-Grouse Data

Monday, August 11, 2014

DENVER - The Service is initiating its formal status review of the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act by requesting information from a broad array of state and federal agencies and tribes, along with industry and local conservation partners, about the ground-dwelling bird’s population and efforts to protect its sagebrush habitat.
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Service Reopens Bi-State DPS Comment Period

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Service has reopened the public comment period for the proposed rule to list the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of the greater sage-grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. New information on population trends and recent funding commitments from state and federal agencies prompted the decision to seek additional input.
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Webinar: Mapping Wet Meadows for Grouse

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wet meadows and other moist sites account for less than 2 percent of the landscape, but they're critically important seasonal habitats for sage-grouse. To better help managers manage these important habitats, Sage Grouse Initiative and the Intermountain West Joint Venture have mapped these "mesic" resources. A webinar on August 6 will explain how to apply this new tool.
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BLM Puts Focus on Fire

Monday July 18, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management is making sage-grouse habitat protection a high natural resource priority, focusing its hazardous fuels program on areas where fire management for sage-grouse habitat protection is most critical. These areas are primarily located in priority habitat in the Great Basin states with the highest probability of wildfire occurrence.
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Sex, Leks and Videotape

Weds, July 9, 2014

Perhaps the most scrutinized love live since Don Juan's is getting a closer look from a researcher who married robotic technology to some feathery primping and thrown in a wireless video camera. The hen-bot was created by Gail Patricelli, an associate processor in the Department of Evolution and Ecology at the University of California Davis, whose work is profiled in this Grand Junction Daily Sentinel article by reporter Gary Harmon.
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Shed feathers promise new insights into sage-grouse populations

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Feathers fly each spring when male greater sage-grouse square off on the lek. The lost plumage matters little to the males, but the genetic material in their feathers will give researchers new insights into the secret lives of these iconic sagebrush dwellers. This spring, researchers began collecting feathers from more than 7,000 leks spread across 11 Western states and two Canadian provinces. The data will greatly improve our knowledge of sage-grouse genetics across the bird's 259,000 square-mile range. Movement patterns and population structures revealed by the study will help land use managers identify critically important habitat and promising areas for restoration.
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BLM finalizes Lander Resource Management Plan

Thursday June 26, 2014

CHEYENNE, WY- Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Neil Kornze and Wyoming Governor Matt Mead today announced the final approval of a comprehensive management plan for public lands in central Wyoming. The Lander Resource Management Plan updates a nearly 30-year old document and is the first of the BLM’s resource management plans to address management of important greater sage-grouse habitat. Ninety-nine percent of the Lander area is habitat for the species and 70 percent of the planning area is identified as priority habitat warranting special protection.

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USDA announces $25 million commitment for Bi-State grouse conservation

Friday June 20, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a groundbreaking new commitment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to accelerate and focus conservation efforts for the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse that will help landowners implement a range of conservation actions in California and Nevada over the next five to 10 years that are designed to avert a listing of this distinct population segment. The Bureau of Land Management also announced a 10-year, $6.5 million commitment to improve grouse habitat on land that it manages.

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Science on parade as sage-grouse researchers flock to Elko

Thursday June 19, 2014

ELKO, NV- Fearscapes, hen-bots, cryogenically cooled thermal imagers and a host of other state-of-the-art research projects drew the nation's top greater sage-grouse experts to northeastern Nevada for the 29th Western Agencies Sage and Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse Workshop June 16-19. The conference featured two days of presentations on the latest developments in grouse conservation sandwiched around a tour of northeastern Nevada's sagebrush country.

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Forest Service adapts to save North Dakota sage-grouse

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The U.S. Forest Service will prepare an environmental impact statement that evaluates changes to the land and resource management plan for the Little Missouri National Grassland in western North Dakota. At just over 1 million acres, the Little Missouri National Grassland is the largest in the federal system and contains some of North Dakota's best remaining sage-grouse habitat. The agency expects to complete a draft EIS by November and the final EIS by June 2015.

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Oregon ranchers embrace opportunity to conserve grouse

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

PORTLAND, OR – Oregon ranchers are embracing an opportunity to further conservation for the greater sage-grouse while working together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Harney Soil and Water Conservation District.

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Workshop touts benefits of partnerships in grouse conservation

Monday, May 12th, 2014

TWIN FALLS, ID – A workshop hosted by the Sage Grouse Initiative gave state ranchers an opportunity to learn how working together to protect sage-grouse produces results for their bottom lines.

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State study finds more grouse on grazed lands

Wednesday, May 8th, 2014

A four-year study by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has found that sage-grouse survival increased on study plots occupied by cattle compared with empty sagebrush. The study found nesting success and brood survival was higher in pastures with livestock. The study was conducted in southeast Montana, where many traditional landowners have maintained large expanses of intact sagebrush habitat.

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Sage-grouse conservation efforts huge

Wednesday, May 8th, 2014

Knowing that the 1993 listing of the spotted owl as a threatened species hurt the logging industry, ranchers are getting aboard efforts to head off a potential Endangered Species Act listing of the greater sage-grouse.

The chicken-sized bird found in 11 Western states has been in decline over the past century because of the loss of sagebrush.

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Western Governors Defend Their Efforts to Protect the Sage-Grouse

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

In a recent letter to Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell, the governors offered their third inventory of programs and initiatives that the states are undertaking to preserve the potentially threatened birds.

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Feds spent $77 million to protect sage-grouse in Wyoming since 2010

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

CASPER, WY — Wyoming landowners received nearly $77 million in federal funding during the last three years in exchange for conserving more than 1 million acres to protect greater sage-grouse, recently released government figures show. Under the initiative, the NRCS distributes funding to landowners through a variety of conservation programs. Landowners, in return, agree to place conservation easements or implement environmentally responsible land management practices on their properties.

The release of the NRCS figures came at the request of the Western Governors’ Association, a nonpartisan organization that advocates on behalf of governors in 19 western states.

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Sage-grouse counts remain low

Monday, April 28th, 2014

BISMARK, ND - Results from North Dakota’s spring sage-grouse survey indicate the number of strutting males remains well below management objectives. Therefore, the sage-grouse hunting season will remain closed in 2014. North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists counted a record low 31 males on six active strutting grounds. Last year, 50 males were counted on 11 active leks in the southwest.

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Carbon County Ranch receives 2014 Leopold Award

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

CHEYENNE, WY - Since 1881, six generations of one Wyoming family have operated the Ladder Ranch in the shadow of Battle Mountain. The ranch raises cattle and sheep on holdings that extend south into Colorado, and provides a home for abundant populations of native trout, big game and sage-grouse. "We have always believed there is no inherent contradiction between production and conservation," said rancher Pat O'Toole. The Ladder Ranch is this year's recipient of the Sand County Foundation's Leopold Award for 2014.
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Comment period extended for bi-state population of greater sage-grouse

April, 7th, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC - The US Fish & Wildlife Service has announced a 60-day extension of the public comment period on the proposal to protect the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of the greater sage-grouse as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.  The listing proposal designates approximately 1.86 million acres of critical habitat for the species and includes a special rule that would provide increased flexibility for land management practices that are intended to benefit the sage-grouse.

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Funding to help Washington ranchers rest pastures for grouse

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Ranchers in parts of central and eastern Washington may be eligible to receive financial assistance to help protect sage-grouse habitat and improve range conditions for their livestock. Through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Sage Grouse Initiative and the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) initiative, ranchers have options available for existing grazed ranchlands and expired CRP lands. The initiative is limited to sage-grouse habitat areas of central and eastern Washington.

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New WGA Sage-Grouse Inventory details conservation work in 11 Western states

March, 18th, 2014

In a recent letter to Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell, western governors offered their third inventory of programs and initiatives that the states are undertaking to preserve greater sage-grouse populations.

Related Content

Letter from Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Inventory of State and Local Governments’ Conservation Initiatives for Sage-Grouse
Special Report to the Western Governors

State submits comments to BLM and Forest Service

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

PORTLAND, OR - Governor John Kitzhaber’s top natural resource official urged the Bureau of Land Management to strengthen protections for greater sage-grouse in the final Resource Management Plan to help keep the bird off of the Endangered Species List in comments submitted to the federal agency.

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Fish & Wildlife Service comments on Oregon RMP

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

PORTLAND, OR - The Bureau of Land Management’s preferred alternative for updating protections for greater sage-grouse in its draft Resource Management Plan represents a “meaningful improvement” over current management plans, said Paul Henson, supervisor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Portland office. However, Henson encouraged his federal counterparts strengthen protections in several areas and clarify how much disturbance the agency would allow in the 70 percent of state-occupied sage-grouse range that the BLM manages.

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Governor urges BLM to consider Colorado grouse plan

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

DENVER, CO - Governor John Hickenlooper has asked the Bureau of Land management to consider an alternative state-based approach to protecting greater sage-grouse as the federal agency finalizes its Resource Management Plan for northwestern Colorado. The Governor asked the BLM to factor in progress made by public and private partnerships on state and private lands as it considers new protections for grouse on federal land administered by the agency. A copy of the letter can be found here.

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South Dakota rancher improves prime sage-grouse habitat

Wednesday, October 1st, 2013

BUFFALO, SD – Rancher Joe Painter credits his grandfather’s love of wildlife as the inspiration for Painter’s decision to improve habitat for sage-grouse on more than 13,000 acres of his wind-swept ranch in recent years. With assistance from the Sage Grouse Initiative, a partnership funded by Natural Resources Conservation Service, Painter joined more than 700 ranchers who have voluntarily enrolled in grazing improvements, conservation easements and conifer removal projects across 11 western states. All are part of the SGI partnership, launched in 2010 to proactively conserve a species that has lost half its historic range.

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