Greater Sage-Grouse

The Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a long-lived, ground-dwelling bird species whose populations across the Western United States have declined as much as 90%. Dependent on large tracts of sagebrush with a healthy understory of grasses and forbs, the sage grouse has declined largely due to loss of its habitat to livestock grazing, development, mining, agriculture, and oil and gas exploration.

The Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether to propose the Greater Sage-Grouse for listing under the Endangered Species Act—a listing that would result in restrictions on grazing and other human activity throughout the species’ range—by September 30, 2015. To prevent this outcome, and as a result of intense political pressure by the livestock industry, the Bureau of Land Management has undertaken a land management planning process that professes to provide sufficient protections to avoid the necessity of listing. 64% of sage grouse Preliminary Priority Habitat (PPH) and Preliminary General Habitat (PGH)  lies within BLM grazing allotments, where the agency’s own data reveal that livestock grazing remains the most frequently reported significant cause of degraded habitat conditions. Without significant reductions in livestock grazing pressure, the threats to this species will remain.

Impacts of Grazing
on the Greater Sage-Grouse

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Permit Exception Requests for Sage Grouse Habitats

Oil extraction in Utah on BLM Lands | BLM Photo

As Greater Sage-Grouse numbers plummet throughout the West, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to waive habitat protections for oil and gas operations.

The exemptions (sometimes called “timing stipulations”) allow mainly oil and gas activity in areas set aside to protect sage grouse and various migratory raptors.


Letter to DOI Inspector General – Exemptions of Habitat Protections -1-9-2024 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to DOI IG Greenblatt to Update Request for Investigation (Into Exemptions of Habitat ...

Permit Renewal Shows BLM Not Serious on Range Reform

Despite Horrid Conditions No Recognition of Overgrazing or Climate Impact

BLM Oil Exemptions Threaten Sage Grouse in Wyoming

Groups Ask for Immediate Moratorium on Waiver of Habitat Protections

PEERMail | Agency Policies Threaten Iconic Bird

The Interior Secretary announced a phaseout of single-use plastics in national parks and other public lands.

BLM Oil Exemptions Undercut Sage Grouse Safeguards

More Than 80 Waivers from Just 3 Field Offices Prompt Call for Inquiry and Lawsuit

Agency Records Paint Bleak Picture of Western Landscape

New Map Shows Harmful Impacts of BLM Livestock Grazing Program

COMMENTARY | Conservation and Climate Action Require a Better Bureau of Land Management

Without changing its own culture, Bureau of Land Management will be unable to achieve the Biden Administration's ...

Interior’s Sage Grouse Plans Hit Big Pothole

BLM Decision Documents Covering Six States Are Invalid

Public Land Livestock Fees Hit Rock-Bottom

Full Cost of Federal Grazing Program Well Overdue for Complete Analysis

Cattle Trample Sage Grouse Recovery Prospects

New Grazing Data Center Documents Widespread Habitat Damage

BLM Weighs Wild Horse Impact Much More Heavily Than Cattle

Agency Sage Grouse Review Puts Thumb on Scale to Magnify Wild Horse and Burro Effects

Gunnison Sage-Grouse Gets Another Chance at Protection

Most Populations Declined Again in 2009


TELLURIDE, COLO. – San Miguel County in Colorado has formally joined an effort to protect the Gunnison sage-grouse ...
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