The Sagebrush Ecosystem
Welcome to sagebrush country, the iconic home of America's wild west.
The sagebrush ecosystem is the largest interconnected habitat type in America. It is one of our last remaining wide open spaces, providing clean air, fresh water, and other resources that sustain a wide array of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Bridging portions of 13 states across 175 million acres of public and private lands, over 350 species of wildlife call sagebrush country home. Learn more about the plants and wildlife.
America’s sagebrush also serves as the lifeblood of western rural economies by supporting a robust outdoor recreation economy, ranching, farming, oil/gas/solar energy, and many small businesses.
However, sagebrush country is also one of the most imperiled places in America. Habitat loss and fragmentation is the leading threat to this place and its wildlife. The spread of non-native plants like cheatgrass are causing a disruption in the ecosystem; the grasses fill in open space, dry up quickly, and serve as fuel for some of the West’s most devastating wildfires. Learn more about the threats.
What We Do Here
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s vision is to conserve a healthy sagebrush landscape working for people and wildlife, and our science-based approach to achieve this reflects our agency business model for the 21st century.
Wildlife thrive in hardy, connected ecosystems that supply food, water, and shelter. We can conserve wildlife populations for future generations in a manner that is both effective and economical when we partner with private landowners, industries, and others interested in undertaking voluntary actions that benefit sagebrush-dependent species well before they reach the point of requiring listing. That’s what we’re doing in the sagebrush. Our unprecedented investment in this landscape has harnessed millions of dollars from many sources to deliver science, technical assistance to private landowners, and communication and collaboration, all in support of this vision.