The greater sage grouse is an iconic bird that lives in the American West’s sagebrush landscape. It’s also a species at the center of a nationwide debate focused on how best to manage its habitat to balance multiple uses and ensure the bird’s long-term survival.
And the dialogue has just been informed by new information from a genetics study that has validated the primary target locations of current conservation efforts.
Though sage grouse were once numerous, their populations have dwindled drastically from historic numbers. Their range is still impressively large, though. Sage grouse are spread across a staggering 258,000 square miles.
Bishop: Obama Administration’s Final Species Petition Regulations Demonstrate Need for ESA Reform
Washington, D.C. (Sept 26, 2016) – Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced final revisions to regulations governing the petition process under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:
Report on One Year Anniversary Highlights Actions Taken to Implement Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation
DENVER – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today marked the one year anniversary of the historic decision not to list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act by celebrating the ongoing unprecedented collaborative conservation effort to conserve the sagebrush ecosystem with stakeholders at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
The Administration, in partnership with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), today also released a report highlighting recent actions to conserve the sagebrush ecosystem, including efforts to minimize further habitat disturbance, restore the health of fire-impacted landscapes, reduce invasive grasses and provide opportunities for landowners and ranchers to invest in conservation actions that benefit the greater sage-grouse and the success of their own operations.
State forestry agencies and their federal partners including the USDA Forest Service are dedicated to working together to achieve national-level conservation and economic goals that are outlined in the Forest Action Plans.
The 2016 State & Private Forestry Report summarizes the review of the most recent information prepared by state forestry agencies to address these goals, including recent accomplishments as well as plans for the future. This analysis and summary report helps demonstrate the value of investment in state and private forestry programs as well as articulate future challenges and priorities based on 2015 Forest Action Plan progress reports provided by the state and territorial forestry agencies of the United States.
America’s Rarest Species Receive $44.8 Million Investment Under Endangered Species Act Grants Program: California will receive $15 million in funding to help collaborative efforts to conserve imperiled species
In addition to providing regulatory protections that have successfully prevented the extinction of hundreds of species, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) also provides millions of dollars in funding each year for conservation efforts through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF). This year, threatened and endangered species in 20 states will benefit from $44.8 million in grants from the fund; California will receive over $15 million. Authorized under Section 6 of the ESA, the CESCF enables states to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other government agencies to develop projects that protect federally-listed species and their habitats.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have issued listing decisions on a number of species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in recent days, and USFWS has announced notable changes in its recovery strategy for the red wolf.
On September 7, 2016, USFWS reopened the comment period for its proposed rule to remove the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) from the list of threatened species. The initial proposed rule emphasized that the States of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho needed to promulgate regulations managing human-caused mortality of grizzly bears before USFWS would proceed to a final rule, and such state mechanisms have recently been finalized.