Sagebrush Ecosystem Initiative

How Audubon Helped Protect the Sagebrush’s Most Iconic Resident

In 2015, the Department of the Interior finalized landmark conservation plans to protect the Greater Sage-Grouse while preventing the need for an Endangered Species Act listing. The decision plotted a new, brighter future—not only for the sage-grouse, but for the American West. It was the result of significant levels of collaboration at an unprecedented scale. Audubon, with its sound science-based planning and steadfast work with a wide range of stakeholders, had been a major part of this remarkable achievement. 

Where We Go From Here

More than 350 species depend on the sagebrush ecosystem, as well as people. Reaching 14 states, sagebrush country is vital bird habitat, but only half of it is left and new demands continue to be placed on it. Audubon’s Sagebrush Ecosystem Initiative brings together citizens, industry, government, and NGOs to find pragmatic solutions that balance the needs of people and birds. Join us in conserving this American treasure.

Press Room

New Report Finds Increased Oil and Gas Leasing and Drilling in Priority Sage-Grouse Habitat

Despite a formal directive to keep leasing, drilling outside sage-grouse habitat, federal agencies have pushed to develop in priority habitat.
Greater Sage-Grouse. Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Press Room

Efforts to Help Greater Sage-Grouse to be Restored by Biden Administration

The Bureau of Land Management will respond to recent court decisions with new effort to reinstate plans to help struggling sage grouse populations.

Frustration Abounds Five Years After the Historic Sage-Grouse Agreement

The federal government hasn't kept up its end of the deal, advocates say, putting the bird back on course for an Endangered Species Act listing.

Unprecedented Conservation Efforts Keep Greater Sage-Grouse Off Endangered Species List

After more than a decade of work, the collaborative approach to protecting the bird pays off.

Press Room

New Federal Report Shows 80-Percent Decline in Greater Sage-Grouse Populations

New numbers are another indicator of increasing threats to sagebrush country.
Press Room

Court Strikes Down Trump Administration’s Sage-Grouse Directive, Canceling Hundreds of Oil and Gas Leases

Administration violated federal law by leasing sensitive sage-grouse habitat for drilling

Judge Blocks Trump Administration Plans that Lifted Sage-Grouse Protections

The injunction supports conservationists' claims that the industry-friendly plans are illegal, and puts stronger protections back in place for now.

What’s Up With the Greater Sage-Grouse?

A definitive guide to the most talked-about bird in the West.

Rethinking the Endangered Species List

Some threatened species may never earn "endangered" status. Here's why that may be a good thing.

Related Working Lands News

Audubon Americas

Why it is worth changing Colombia's productive landscapes

By Audubon Americas
March 27, 2023 — By working productive landscapes and connecting different ecosystems, we provide safe habitats for birds and biodiversity and achieve environmental benefits for people while improving the productivity and profitability of farmers and communities with a long-term sustainable impact.
Working Lands

Herds for Birds: Audubon Certifies Dixon Water Foundation Ranches as Bird-Friendly Habitats

By Anthony Hauck
March 02, 2023 — Audubon bird-friendly certifications cover 21,000 acres of Texas grassland habitat
A lesser prairie chicken stands in the grass.
Working Lands

Alexander Ranch Awarded Audubon Certified Status for Bird-Friendly Habitat Measures

By Anthony Hauck
February 22, 2023 — Kansas ranch herd is working for birds, notably the Lesser Prairie-Chicken, in the Audubon Conservation Ranching program
A brown striped sparrow seats on a branch stuck in barbed wire.

Audubon Issues 100th Bird-Friendly Habitat Certification to Badger Creek Ranch

By National Audubon Society
January 19, 2023 — Badger Creek Ranch herd in Colorado is working for birds through Audubon’s Conservation Ranching program.
Working Lands

Colorado’s Houseweart Ranch Earns Bird-Friendly Habitat Certification from Audubon

By Anthony Hauck
January 05, 2023 — Princess Beef herd is working for grassland birds in Audubon Conservation Ranching program

Excerpt: Sage Spirit

In Dave Showalter’s dramatic new photography book, Rick Bass reflects on one of the most vital habitats in the American West.
Climate Solutions

Balance of Power

Green energy isn’t necessarily harmless. But new efforts are under way to site renewable energy projects and transmission lines outside unspoiled landscapes and wildlife habitat.