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Individual Highlight

Forest Service Science Bolsters Sagebrush and Sage Grouse Conservation

Photo of Greater sage-grouse with solar-powered PTT-100 global positioning system transmitter in a study of movement patterns in Wyoming. Brian Dickerson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Greater sage-grouse with solar-powered PTT-100 global positioning system transmitter in a study of movement patterns in Wyoming. Brian Dickerson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Snapshot : The Forest Service has been a leader for several decades in developing science and applications to support conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse populations. This research highlight describes an assessment that explains why Forest Service science on this topic is crucial for future management of sagebrush ecosystems.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Finch, Deborah M.  
Research Location : Sagebrush ecosystems throughout the western United States
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1146

Summary

Sagebrush ecosystems are among the largest and most threatened ecosystems in North America. Greater sage-grouse has served as the bellwether for species conservation in these ecosystems and has been considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act several times. The 2016 Conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse: An assessment of U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Science will help meet continuing widespread concerns and calls for science-based conservation to mitigate threats to sagebrush ecosystems, conserve populations of sage-grouse and other sagebrush-obligate species, and restore sagebrush ecosystems throughout the western United States. Concerns over sage-grouse and associated habitats have set in motion sweeping federal and state land management plan changes and proactive science-based conservation actions to address threats. For nearly a century, the Forest Service has studied sagebrush ecosystems and for decades has focused on sage-grouse biology and habitat requirements. Forest Service scientists and managers prepared an assessment and plan that summarized its strengths, capabilities, partners, research, and potential future high-priority research areas for conservation and restoration of sagebrush and sage-grouse. This work will help meet continuing widespread concerns and calls for science-based conservation to mitigate threats to sagebrush ecosystems, conserve populations of sage-grouse and other sagebrush-obligate species, and restore sagebrush ecosystems throughout the western United States. Additionally, Forest Service scientists are contributing to the science plan and other recommendations of the sagebrush-focused report: An Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy: Final Report to the Secretary of the Interior (May 2015). Products from this interagency effort are due out in late 2016 and beyond.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Chris J. Colt, Region 4
  • Clint McCarthy, Region 4 (retired)
  • Douglas A. Boyce, National Forest System, Washington Office