TwitterTwitterLinked InContact

NATURAL RESOURCE SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT IN THE WEST

A timeline of sage grouse conservation

Jan 6, 2014

May 1999 FWS was petitioned to list the Washington population of greater sage grouse as endangered under the Endangered Species Act
July 2000 Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FWS, Bureau of Land Management, and the U. S. Forest Service to work on sagebrush ecosystem conservation efforts including sage grouse
July 2000 Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer created an 18-member Wyoming Sage-Grouse Working Group to develop a statewide sage grouse conservation strategy
January 2002 FWS was petitioned to list the western subspecies of greater sage grouse as endangered
July 2002 FWS was petitioned to list the greater sage grouse as endangered across entire range
February 2003 FWS determined the subpopulations should be evaluated with the whole greater sage grouse population
March 2003 FWS was petitioned to list greater sage grouse as endangered across entire range
June 2003 Wyoming Sage-Grouse Working Group published “Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan”
December 2003 FWS was again petitioned to list the greater sage grouse as endangered across entire range
November 2004 BLM issued a “National Sage-Grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy” to guide sage grouse habitat conservation and management
January 2005 FWS determined listing the greater sage grouse was not warranted
July 2006 Western Watersheds Project issued a complaint alleging that the FWS finding was incorrect, arbitrary, unwarranted by the facts, etc.
December 2006 Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies published the “Greater Sage Grouse Comprehensive Conservation Strategy”
May 2007 Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Department issued “Agency Position: Sage-Grouse Conservation and Energy Development”
July 2007 Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal created a Sage-Grouse Implementation Team
July 2007 Murphy Complex Fire burned 650,000 acres of sage grouse habitat in southern Idaho
September 2007 Wyoming Sage-Grouse Implementation Team presented the governor with a list of 21 recommendations to protect sage grouse
December 2007 Federal District Court in Idaho overturned FWS’s not-warranted decision, remanded decision to the agency for reconsideration
March 2008 Western Watersheds Project challenged BLM’s environmental impact analysis of increased grazing on 1.4 million acres of sage-grouse habitat in southern Idaho given recent fires
August 2008 Governor Freudenthal signed Executive Order 2008-02 establishing a Core Area Policy to conserve greater sage grouse in Wyoming
December 2008 Western Watersheds Project challenged 18 BLM Resource Management Plans in Idaho, Montana, Utah, California, Wyoming, and Nevada on the grounds that BLM failed to consider the cumulative impacts of management decisions on sage-grouse populations
February 2010 “Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Greater Sage-Grouse in the West Central Planning Area between the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Cooperation with the West Central Sage-Grouse Local Working Group” was established
March 2010 Upon further review FWS announced that listing the greater sage grouse as a threatened species is warranted but precluded by higher conservation priorities
March 2010 BLM issued “Gunnison and Greater Sage-grouse Management Considerations for Energy Development” to supplement the 2004 “National Sage-Grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy”
March 2010 Natural Resource Conservation Service launched the “Sage-Grouse Initiative,” a conservation grant and technical assistance program to help ranchers improve sage grouse habitat and rangelands productivity, http://sagegrouseinitiative.com/, and committed over $110 million during the first two years for sage grouse conservation
August 2010 Governor Freudenthal issued a second Executive Order for sage grouse conservation with more precise core area maps
2011 Department of Agriculture announced an additional $18.2 million program to help ranchers in Wyoming, Idaho and Utah conserve critical sage-grouse habitats through its Grassland Reserve Program
April 2011 Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted “The Oregon Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Strategy: A Plan to Maintain and Enhance Populations and Habitat”
May 2011 Settlement with WildEarth Guardians in U.S. District Court determined the FWS must submit either a proposed rule or not-warranted finding for greater sage grouse by September 2015
June 2011 Wyoming Governor Matt Mead readopted Core Area Policy as Executive Order 2011-5
August 2011 BLM chartered a “National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy” to evaluate the adequacy of BLM Resource Management Plans to conserve greater sage grouse
December 2011 Sage-grouse conservation meeting held in Cheyenne to coordinate a multi-state, range-wide effort to conserve the sage grouse resulted in a state/federal Sage Grouse Task Force led by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
December 2011 BLM initiated a NEPA process to revise West-wide land management plans by September 2014 to protect sage grouse and sage grouse habitat
2012 USFS joined the BLM on five Environmental Impact Statements that will amend as many as 20 forest plans to conserve sage grouse habitat
January 2012 Governor Gary Herbert of Utah established committee of stakeholders and agencies to establish a sage grouse management plan following Wyoming’s core area model
March 2012 A $33 million Working Lands for Wildlife partnership program was established to work with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to restore, manage and protect habitats for at-risk species including greater sage grouse
March 2012 Governor Butch Otter of Idaho created Idaho’s Sage Grouse Task Force
June 2012 Mead and Hickenlooper’s Sage Grouse Task Force submitted a “Process for Developing a Range-wide Conservation Plan for Sage Grouse” to Secretary Salazar and the Western Governors
August 2012 FWS released a draft report to conserve the greater sage grouse
January 2013 FWS listed the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered
February 2013 FWS and partners released “Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) Conservation Objectives: Final Report” prioritizing range-wide conservation measures
May 2013 Governor Mead issued an energy strategy with a conservation objective that includes sage grouse studies to inform conservation and mitigation
May 2013 Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, FWS, and BLM signed programmatic CCA for sage grouse on rangelands
September 2013 Chesapeake Oil released plan that would allow it to drill for oil in a sage grouse core area in eastern Wyoming in exchange for funding conservation work
September 2015 FWS will issue its listing determination for greater sage grouse