Greater sage-grouse science (2015-17) – Synthesis and potential management implications

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In October 2017, after a review of the 2015 Federal plans relative to State sage-grouse plans, in accordance with Secretarial Order 3353, the BLM issued a notice of intent to consider whether to amend some, all, or none of the 2015 land use plans. At that time, the BLM requested the USGS to inform this effort through the development of an annotated bibliography of sage-grouse science published since January 2015 and a report that synthesized and outlined the potential management implications of this new science. Development of the annotated bibliography resulted in the identification and summarization of 169 peer-reviewed scientific publications and reports. The USGS then convened an interagency team (hereafter referred to as the “team”) to develop this report that focuses on the primary topics of importance to the ongoing management of sage-grouse and their habitats.

The team developed this report in a three-step process. First, the team identified six primary topic areas for discussion based on the members’ collective knowledge regarding sage-grouse, their habitats, and threats to either or both. Second, the team reviewed all the material in the Annotated Bibliography of Scientific Research on Greater Sage-Grouse Published since January 2015 to identify the science that addressed the topics. Third, team members discussed the science related to each topic, evaluated the consistency of the science with existing knowledge before 2015, and summarized the potential management implications of this science. The six primary topics identified by the team were:

  • Multiscale habitat suitability and mapping tools
  • Discrete anthropogenic activities
  • Diffuse activities
  • Fire and invasive species
  • Restoration effectiveness
  • Population estimation and genetics

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