FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it will start a public comment period to review Greater Sage-Grouse conservation plans.

“With federal agencies managing the majority of the bird’s sagebrush habitat, their role in determining the bird’s future is critical,” said Alison Holloran, executive director, Audubon Rockies and vice president, National Audubon Society.

The BLM conservation plans were put in place in 2015 after a historic landscape-scale collaborative planning effort. The plans were amended in 2019, but these rollbacks were blocked in court. Earlier this year, the agency announced it would reinstate the historic plans established in 2015 by stakeholders from across the West – which the previous administration ignored and undermined. 

"Reinstating the 2015 plans was an important step, but we find ourselves in a different place than where we were six years ago,” said Holloran. “We’ve lost important time to conserve and restore these public lands which are so important to sage-grouse. The threats to the bird are real and can’t afford to be ignored.”

In March, scientists at the United States Geological Survey issued a groundbreaking report showing that sage-grouse populations have declined 80 percent range-wide since 1965, a more dramatic decline than previously thought. There are more than 350 different species of wildlife and plants as well as hunters, ranchers, and whole communities that depend on a healthy sagebrush steppe.

“Westerners came together before and forged balanced solutions for the sage-grouse, the sagebrush landscape, and the people who depend on it, added Holloran. “It’s time we do that again.”

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Media Contact: Matt Smelser, matt.smelser@audubon.org

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