UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
In Reply Refer To:
6500 (WO-230) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 200
and WO Officials
Subject: National Sage-Grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy
Program Areas: Multiple programs
Purposes: Issuance of Bureau of Land Management’s
(BLM) National Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy (National Sage-grouse Strategy)
and required action items: (1) guidance
for addressing sagebrush habitat conservation
-use plans under action
item 1.3.1 in the National Sage-grouse Strategy, and (2) guidance for the
management of sagebrush plant communities for sage-grouse conservation under
action item 1.4.1 in the National Sage-grouse Strategy.
Policy/Action: Issuance of BLM’s National Sage-grouse Strategy. As part of BLM’s ongoing commitment to
support cooperative conservation of sage-grouse and sagebrush habitats on
public lands under our administration, we have completed and are issuing for
immediate use, a comprehensive national strategy. BLM State Directors and associated Field Offices will immediately
implement the National Sage-grouse Strategy and actions described in this
memorandum according to the specified time frame. The National Sage-grouse Strategy is consistent with cooperative sage-grouse
conservation planning efforts led by the
State through their
respective state wildlife management agencies and fully recognizes state
leadership and responsibility in managing resident wildlife species.
Background: The BLM manages more sage-grouse habitat than any other entity and as a result has a key role in the conservation of the species and its habitat. Approximately half of all remaining sage-grouse habitat is under BLM administration. It is critical we continue with our ongoing conservation efforts. The BLM must also continue to implement new actions to reduce the risk to sage-grouse populations and to conserve sage-grouse habitat. One of BLM’s highest priorities is to implement the National Sage-
grouse Strategy on BLM-managed lands
as well as
related conservation actions in a consistent and effective manner. All State Directors and Field Managers will note
their areas of responsibility in the National Sage-grouse Strategy ,
and take appropriate actions to ensure immediate implementation.
National Sage-grouse Strategy: The National Sage-grouse Strategy is the framework to address the conservation of sage-grouse and risk to sagebrush habitats on lands and acti
administered by the BLM. The document
identifies the resources and actions necessary for BLM State-level
strategies and/or plans . The National Sage-grouse Strategy also outlines
methods to address the risk to sage-grouse and sagebrush habitats at various
scales. It provides for
a comprehensive national approach, while providing for local solutions to
address the complexity
variability of manag ement over the range - wide geographic
with state wildlife agencies, state governments, and local interests, while
achieving national level conservation goals.
The vision of the BLM’s National Sage-grouse Strategy is to
manage public lands to maintain, enhance, and restore sage-grouse habitats
while providing for
multiple - use sof
BLM-administered public lands.
The following four
-goals guide BLM’s
implementation of the National Sage-grouse Strategy:
1) improve the effectiveness of the management framework for addressing conservation needs of sage-grouse on lands administered by the BLM;
2) increase knowledge and understanding of resource conditions and priorities for habitat maintenance and restoration;
3) expand partnerships, available research, and information that support effective management of sage-grouse habitat, and;
4) ensure leadership and resources are adequate to implement national and state- level sage-grouse habitat conservation strategies and/or plans.
Guidance for Addressing Sagebrush Habitat Conservation in
fullest extent practicable), new
planning starts, and plan amendments.
Guidance for the Management of Sagebrush Plant
Communities for Sage-grouse Conservation:
This document is action 1.4.1 under the National Sage-grouse Strategy
and serves as guidance on managing, restoring and enhancing sagebrush habitat
on BLM-administered public lands. It
also describes management practices (Best Management Practices and Suggested
Management Practices) designed to support and promote the range-wide
conservation of sagebrush habitats for sage-grouse and other sagebrush-dependent
wildlife species on public lands administered by the BLM. BLM State
s and associated
Field Offices are to use this guidance until the Bureau and its partners (1)
finalize and adopt the BLM S tate -level strategies
and/or state wildlife agency-led sage-grouse conservation
plans; and/or (2) incorporate specific sage-grouse habitat objectives and
conservation measures, developed collaboratively with local Western Association
of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) groups, into appropriate BLM planning
documents. This guidance may be
modified through the collaborative process in each state to best fit local and
regional conditions and to reflect ongoing efforts to complete state-level
cooperation with State Wildlife Agencies, review all existing
Land Use Plans to determine the
adequacy in addressing the threats to sage-grouse and sagebrush habitat as
identified in the WAFWA Conservation Assessment. This will include land
Identify and prioritize
land use plan amendments
or land 4.
Priorities submitted by State Directors
will be incorporated into the BLM 10-year planning schedule by April 2005
in order to emphasize and accelerate these plans as a Bureau priority.
Issues and alternatives evaluated in the NEPA process for land
. will be to have
all plans updated by 2015.
Initiate collaborative discussions and dialogue with the local
WAFWA working groups and other partners to develop objectives, management
actions, and mitigation specific to the high priority planning area(s) in your
state(s). Include the best available
science (e.g. Miller and Eddleman, Connelly guidelines, Birds of the Sagebrush
Management Practices, locally available data, and other guidelines and
information appropriate to sage-grouse and its habitat.
5. An annual report detailing actions taken to implement the BLM National Sage-grouse Strategy shall be submitted to the Assistant Director (WO-200) by September 1 of 2005, 2006 and 2007. Most importantly, we want to know how the specific actions you are taking are improving sage-grouse habitat and/or sage-grouse populations.
Time Frame: This IM is in effect upon issuance.
Budget Impact: There will be a budget impact to most BLM
programs because of increased emphasis on the analysis of sage-grouse and sagebrush
habitat conservation in land
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None
Coordination: This IM reflects the input of individuals in different resource groups at all levels of the Bureau. The Fish, Wildlife and Botany Group (WO-230) has the lead for the effort.
Contact: E. Dwight Fielder, Group Manager, WO-230, at (202) 452-7761, Cal McCluskey, Wildlife Biologist, at (208) 373-4042, Eric Lawton, Wildlife Biologist, at (202) 452-7760, or Scott Florence, Senior Planner (for planning guidance only) at (202) 452-5151.
1 - BLM National Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy (25 pp)
2 - Guidance for Addressing Sagebrush Habitat Conservation in Land Use Plans (10 pp)
3 - Guidance for the Management of Sagebrush Plant Communities for Sage- grouse Conservation (33 pp)