Considered one of the most imperiled ecosystems in the world
The sagebrush biome once spanned several hundred million acres but now occupies less than 161 million acres in the western U.S.
Home to mule deer, pronghorn, sage-grouse, pygmy rabbits and more than 350 other species of conservation concern.
The sagebrush ecosystem continues to shrink rapidly due to a host of growing threats.
To help address the myriad of challenges confronting the sagebrush ecosystem, a Strategy was developed to guide future conservation efforts.
The most significant effort bringing together the science guiding the conservation of the sagebrush biome undertaken.
Sagebrush Conservation Strategy
This Sagebrush Conservation Strategy is intended to provide guidance so that the unparalleled collaborative efforts to conserve the iconic greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) by State and Federal agencies, academia, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders can be expanded to the entire sagebrush biome to benefit the people and wildlife that depend on this ecosystem.
This Strategy provides the latest science pertaining to the myriad challenges confronting managers of the sagebrush ecosystem that covers portions of 14 Western states and two Canadian provinces. It was produced by a team of 94 scientists and specialists from 34 federal and state agencies, universities, and non-governmental organizations.
Part I, Challenges to Sagebrush Conservation
An overview and assessment of the challenges facing land managers and landowners in conserving sagebrush ecosystems, including change agents such as invasive plants, altered fire regimes, climate, land use and development, and other challenges associated with conservation, including restoration, communication, adaptive management, and monitoring.
“This report sets the stage for policymakers, managers and scientists as they refine and develop conservation strategies.”
Report editor and USGS Fort Collins Science Center Deputy Director Steve Hanser
Part II, Conservation
Coming Soon. A report led by this same multi-agency team and to be published by the USGS later this year will outline options to help coordinate, prioritize and improve effectiveness of the actions taken by the hundreds of stakeholders engaged in sagebrush conservation as well as increase capacity for conservation in the sagebrush biome. Learn about the development of the strategy.
In the News
Date published: APRIL 15, 2021 by Wildlife Management Institute
Date published: AUGUST 17, 2020 by Wildlife Management Institute
Developing a Comprehensive Sagebrush Conservation Strategy The WAFWA is coordinating development of a comprehensive Sagebrush Conservation Strategy. The strategy addresses the accomplishments and challenges related to conservation and restoration of the sagebrush ecosystem since the 2006 Greater Sage-Grouse Comprehensive Strategy.
To improve coordination and effectiveness of the many people working in this landscape, the WAFWA is coordinating the development of a Sagebrush Conservation Strategy to guide future conservation efforts. This is being implemented with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey, state wildlife agencies and universities, and many others.
“This package includes all documents related to the model development process, as well as additional information about the process and participants, meeting agendas and summaries, presentation slides, syntheses of online comments, and more.”
Sagebrush Partnership Model Development
As part of the development of Part II of the Sagebrush Conservation Strategy, WAFWA, BLM, and USFWS have partnered with the Udall Institute, National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution, to evaluate the potential benefits of a sagebrush biome partnership model. This model would stitch together the more than 500 entities that have identified themselves as being engaged in sagebrush conservation. Similar to other large landscape collaborative partnerships, the goal of this would be to come together to exchange ideas, build relationships, identify common interests, explore options on how to work together, and potentially share resources. There are good examples of collaborative approaches in the sagebrush biome at both local and state scales that can serve as models as this is designed.
Full Materials Package (PDF, 11.7 MB) “The Sagebrush Partnership Model Development Final Materials package includes all documents related to the model development process including the above documents, as well as additional information about the process and participants, meeting agendas and summaries, presentation slides, syntheses of online comments, and more.”
Hanser, S.E., and Wiechman, L.A., eds., 2020, U.S. Geological Survey sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1470, 94 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1470.
Chambers, J.C. et.al. 2017. Science framework for conservation and restoration of the sagebrush biome: Linking the Department of the Interior’s Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy to long-term strategic conservation actions. Part 1. Science basis and applications. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-360. Fort Collins, CO: U.S Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 213 p. https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/53983
Sage-Grouse Coordinator Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Email: email@example.com Phone: 928-899-3732
WAFWA Project Coordinator Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies