Fact Sheet
Sage-Grouse
Sage-Grouse, Photo: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region

Defenders in Action

Defenders of Wildlife is working hard to ensure that federal agencies that manage sage-grouse habitat implement conservation measures to restore this magnificent bird and the ecosystem on which they depend.

More than half of remaining sage-grouse habitat is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service. In 2011, these agencies announced an unprecedented planning process to update management plans with new sage-grouse conservation measures covering 70 million acres of federal public lands in the West. The announcement came just weeks after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service committed to review sage-grouse for listing under the Endangered Species Act by 2015. The BLM and Forest Service have an ambitious goal of amending over 100 separate land use plans with new sage-grouse conservation measures with the hope of averting the need to list the species. All land use decisions, from oil and gas development, to grazing, to wildlife conservation on these public lands are governed by these land use plans.

Defenders is heavily engaged in this planning process and working with decision makers to ensure sage-grouse and the Sagebrush Sea are conserved and restored.

Defenders’ renewable energy team is also working to ensure that renewable energy in sage-grouse habitat is properly sited to reduce impacts on sage-grouse.

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Sage grouse, © Joel Sartore/joelsartore.com
In the Magazine
Study finds plans for protecting sage-grouse ‘inadequate and inconsistent’
Sage-Grouse, Photo: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region
Success Story
December 2013 - Along with volunteers and conservation colleagues from partner organizations, Defenders' team flagged miles of fencing to protect imperiled sage-grouse from collisions.
Sage-grouse, © Tatiana Gettelman
In the Magazine
In the rugged, open scrublands of east-central Montana lives the sage-grouse, a plucky bird that once thrived across the sagebrush sea. Today, however, the population is plummeting from habitat loss.