Upper Snake River Basin Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan
According to the recently completed range-wide Conservation Assessment of Greater Sage-Grouse and Sagebrush Habitats, sage-grouse have declined across their range during the past 50 years. Sage-grouse residing in and around Grand Teton National Park have not been immune to this decline. In order to prevent further loss, a local working group called the Upper Snake River Basin Sage-grouse Local Working Group (LWG) was established in September 2004. This working group was tasked with developing a sage-grouse conservation plan that would identify ways to protect grouse and their habitat. In addition, the group was tasked to design projects that benefit sage-grouse and other sagebrush obligate species, and to implement on-the-ground habitat and population related projects for the species.
The Upper Snake River Basin Sage-grouse Local Working Group (LWG) was established in September 2004 to develop a local conservation plan for the Upper Snake River Basin. It design projects that benefit sage-grouse and other sagebrush obligate species, and to implement on-the-ground habitat and population related projects for the species. The working group's initial task was the completion of this plan, which is a living document that will be updated as needed to remain relevant with the current situation and science.
This local conservation effort is part of a larger effort in Wyoming and over the range of sage-grouse in the West. The intent of this range-wide effort is to provide local support and actions to address sage-grouse conservation issues, which, when considered in the context of a larger state and regional effort will preclude the need for listing the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
This conservation plan identifies strategies and commitments for the purpose of maintaining 4 small, isolated populations of sage-grouse in the conservation area, protecting and managing habitats, and improving sage-grouse numbers in these small populations in the Upper Snake River Basin.
Goals of the LWG are to: 1) Maintain, enhance, or restore sage-grouse habitat to maintain or increase the abundance and distribution of sage-grouse in the USRBCA; 2) Manage factors contributing to direct mortality of sage-grouse; 3) Identify private and state owned lands with existing or potential sage grouse habitat value and minimize future impacts to sage grouse resulting from either transfer of ownership and/or changes in land use practices; 4) Initiate and/or support sage-grouse research; 5) Improve population and habitat monitoring within the USRBCA; 6) Inform and educate the public, landowners, government agencies, and other affected interests within the USRBCA about issues related to sage-grouse conservation.
Objectives and action items are included in this plan to implement these goals and are categorized as commitments already made by organizations or agencies or recommendations for further actions.
Additional information is available on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Web site: http://gf.state.wy.us/wildlife/wildlife_management/sagegrouse/index.asp. The plan will be available for public review and comment until November 30, 2007.