Grappling Grouse: Conservation for the Birds

Mar 22, 2024

Puff up your chest, greater sage-grouse: you’re getting your limelight!


Strut your stuff: The greater sage-grouse, the largest grouse in North America, has seen a decline in its habitat over the years. The bird’s habitat—sagebrush—has seen destruction from drought, fire, and invasive species. That loss in habitat has taken the grouse from populations in the millions to now fewer than 800K.


Conservation clash: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has drafted a planto improve conservation and management on public lands to improve populations of the greater sage-grouse. But groups like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) have responded to BLM’s plan, indicating the vast implications it could have on ranchers. The groups are asking for more time for the comment period, which as of now, ends June 13.


Soundbite: “Years of research, including a very recent and comprehensive 10-year study, support the fact that managed livestock grazing is compatible and can actually benefit the bird. The agency must look at the science, and leverage livestock grazing as a tool for strengthening the sagebrush steppe, preventing wildfire, and conserving this iconic species.” — PLC President and Colorado federal grazing permittee Mark Roeber


Meet up: BLM is hosting public meetings to answer questions and address concerns. 

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