This study used a genecological approach to explore genetic variation for survival in Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush). It found evidence of adaptive genetic variation for survival. Plants from areas with the coldest winters had the highest levels of survival, while populations from warmer and drier sites had the lowest levels of survival. Survival was lowest, 36%, in the garden that was prone to the lowest minimum temperatures. These results suggest the importance of climatic driven genetic differences and their effect on survival. Understanding how genetic variation is arrayed across the landscape, and its association with climate can greatly enhance the success of restoration and conservation.