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DOI reopens sage-grouse plans

Cara J

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On Oct. 11, 2017 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a notice announcing its intent to amend 2015 BLM and U.S. Forest Service land use plans put in place to conserve greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat on western rangelands. These 98 federal land use plans under review form the backbone of the sage-grouse conservation plan, which relies upon collaboration between the BLM, U.S. Forest Service, state agencies, private landowners, and other partners to conserve sage grouse habitat and prevent fragmentation. Populations of this species are estimated to have once numbered in the millions, but populations have since plummeted. The birds migrate seasonally between different parts of their range, covering distances of up to 100 miles. Energy development, mining, cattle grazing,feral horse populations, and invasive plant species all compete for space and resources in sage grouse habitat and have contributed to fragmentation, one of the largest threats to the birds. These land use plans, finalized in Sep. 2015, lead to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determination that the grouse did not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act. The plan worked with a variety of stakeholders with the goal of ensuring both the protection of the species and continued [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/doi-reopens-sage-grouse-plans/

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