The BLM?s proposed approach will manage the grouse as a "special status species" while allowing for grazing, recreation, mining, and oil and gas activities in sage-grouse habitat.
"We believe this is a positive step toward conservation of sage-grouse habitat and keeping the sage-grouse off the Endangered Species List," said Tom McDonnell, director of natural resources and policy for the American Sheep Industry Association.
The core of the BLM strategy involves maintaining, enhancing and restoring the sage-grouse?s sagebrush habitat. The interim strategy will guide BLM offices until state- and local-level sage-grouse conservation plans, developed in collaboration with state wildlife experts, are completed and made part of BLM land-use plans.
The BLM manages half of the sage-grouse?s remaining habitat in the United States ? about 57 million acres.
Staff contact: Tom McDonnell, ext. 54