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Conservation

Sage-Grouse Conservation Partners (SageCon)

SageCon logo

Wrapped up in the name "Sage-Grouse" are a host of big issues related to public lands, the settlement of the American West, roles and layers of government, rural communities, energy and economic development, wildfire, outdoor recreation and vast ecosystems supporting unique and important wildlife. While often expressed shorthand in the name of this particular bird species, these deeper ongoing threads and conversations continue to shape the Oregon and the West as a whole. 

The Sage-Grouse Conservation Partnership formed out of discussions beginning in Oregon in 2010 and represents a broad base of stakeholders in order to:

  • Provide a forum for coordination of federal, state, local, NGO, and private efforts to conserve sage-grouse and advance sage-steppe habitat and rural community health in Oregon, including matters related to funding, policy, and implementation;
  • Implement, coordinate and monitor conservation, regulatory, and voluntary strategies across public and private lands where relevant to habitat, species, economic and community health; and
  • Coordinate with other state, regional, or federal efforts relevant to sage-grouse in order to provide timely and relevant input on Oregon’s strategies/approaches, including those related to future ESA listing or federal land management reviews.

The following list of partner organizations and links to their sage-grouse related websites demonstrates the broad level of coordinated efforts underway.

Federal or Regional Entities

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) works to conserve greater sage-grouse habitat and support sustainable economic development. BLM manages approximately 70% of the sage-grouse range in Oregon and developed multiple land management plans in partnership with the state of Oregon and local partners to benefit wildlife, outdoor recreation, ranching and other traditional land uses that rely on a healthy sagebrush landscape.

Natural Resource Conservation Service

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) focuses on “helping people help the land”— by providing resources to farmers, ranchers and rural landowners to aid them with conservation. NRCS oversees various programs that focus restoration efforts toward sage-grouse habitat on private lands, including the Sage Grouse Initiative and Regional Conservation Partnership Program which have made significant investments in Oregon.

U.S Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) oversees the Endangered Species Act listing review and decisions. After evaluating the best available scientific and commercial information regarding the greater sage-grouse in 2015, the Service determined that protection for the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act is no longer warranted and withdrew the species from the candidate species list. USFWS remains an important partner in SageCon as the state implements the Action Plan and prepares for the 2020 sage-grouse status review.

U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has a mission  to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service is committed to work at the local level to find ways to implement the direction and guidance in the land management plan amendments to conserve sage-grouse and its habitat.

Western Association of Wildlife Agencies

The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) helps fish and wildlife agencies become more responsive to conflicting user and public demands on natural resources.

Western Governors Association

The Western Governors Association (WGA) was established to represent the Governors of 19 Western states and 3 U.S.-flag islands. The association is an instrument of the Governors for bipartisan policy development, information exchange and collective action on issues of critical importance to the Western United States.

State Entities

Association of Oregon Counties

Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) is a statewide organization representing Oregon’s 36 counties. Established in 1906 to provide a forum for information sharing, AOC now provides a variety of functions and services aimed at supporting Oregon counties and the work they do.

Governor's Natural Resource Office

Governor Brown’s Natural Resources Office (GNRO) works with landowners, counties, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations to implement the comprehensive State Sage-Grouse Action Plan to maintain and improve sage-grouse populations and habitat in Oregon.

Institute for Natural Resources

Institute for Natural Resources (INR) was established by the Oregon legislature to bridge the knowledge and expertise of Oregon's universities to natural resource decision making. INR has been an integral part of the SageCon partnership from its inception through facilitation, relationship building, and coordination of technical tools and data to support the effort. INR continues to play an active role in the implementation of the state Action Plan through coordination on development tracking, monitoring, and development of web tools and resources for planning.

Oregon Association of Conservation Districts

The Oregon Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) promotes the conservation and wise use of Oregon’s natural resources. Private landowners and soil and water conservation districts in eight Oregon counties have been engaged in the development and implementation of voluntary sage grouse habitat measures through Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAA's) as well as other key strategies to address threats across the sagebrush landscape.

Oregon Department of Forestry

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) serves the people of Oregon by protecting, managing, and promoting stewardship of Oregon's forests to enhance environmental, economic​, and community sustainability. ODF works with local stakeholders through Rangeland Fire Protection Associations to address fire and invasives management issues to address sage grouse habitat protection and prevention of large wildfires.

Oregon Department of Agriculture

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has a mission to: ensure food safety and provide consumer protection, protect the natural resource base for present and future generations of farmers and ranchers and promote economic development and expand market opportunities for Oregon agricultural products. ODA oversees and funds programs to treat noxious weeds affecting sage-grouse habitat.

Oregon Department of Energy

The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) has a mission is to lead Oregon to a safe, clean and sustainable energy future. ODOE is a coordinating agency to ensure its Energy Facility Siting Council as well as local review

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has a mission to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. ODFW manages the sage-grouse population data for the state and plays an active role in nearly all aspects of sage-grouse conservation efforts in Oregon. ODFW also manages the mitigation program, and adopted OAR 635-140-000 through the SageCon planning process to establish mitigation rules.

Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) provides earth science information and regulation. DOGAMI oversees permitting for surface mining  to ensure development impacts are avoided near sensitive sage-grouse areas.

Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development

The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) has a mission to help communities and citizens plan for, protect and improve the built and natural systems that provide a high quality of life. In partnership with citizens and local governments, DLCD fosters sustainable and vibrant communities and works to protect Oregon's natural resources legacy. DLCD adopted OAR 660-023-0115, which establishes limits on the amount of allowable human development disturbance in significant sage-grouse habitat.

Oregon Department of State Lands

The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) mission is to ensure a legacy for Oregonians and their public schools through sound stewardship of lands, wetlands, waterways, unclaimed property, estates and the Common School Fund. DSL has 630,000 acres of sage-grouse habitat on its properties and has worked with USFWS on a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) to guide future conservation management and action.

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) mission is to protect and restore healthy watersheds and natural habitats that support thriving communities and strong economies. OWEB has provided critical funding and capacity for planning and coordination through several funding and capacity activities associated with the Governor’s Office priority Sage-Grouse Rangeland Initiative. Additionally, OWEB’s Focused Investment Priority for sagebrush/sage-steppe habitat guides voluntary actions that address primary ecological threats and limiting factors related to the quality of this habitat type.

Private or Non-Governmental Organizations

Audubon Society

The Audubon Society has been working in bird conservation since the early 1900's becoming a National organization in 1940. Audubon has been at the forefront of Sage-Grouse conservation since 2007 when Wyoming started its statewide efforts.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.

Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders work in the policy arena as well as on the ground and across local, regional and national  campaigns to restore imperiled wildlife across North America and around the world. Defenders has been heavily engaged in planning, policy and implementation across the West to ensure sage-grouse and the sagebrush sea are conserved and restored.

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Nature Conservancy has been working for decades with private and public partners to conserve sage-grouse and its habitat, for wildlife and future generations.

The National Policy Consensus Center

The National Policy Consensus Center was established in 2000 to lead, research and develop the field of collaborative governance and consensus-building around public policy issues. Oregon Solutions and Oregon Consensus respectively are statewide programs under the NPCC umbrella that serve to build more durable, sustainable and collaborative relationships through stakeholder engagement, mediation processes and implementation on the ground.

Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

Formed in 1913, the Oregon Cattlemen's Association (OCA) seeks to advance the economic, political and social interests of the Oregon Cattle Industry. OCA has worked to demonstrate compatibilities between sage-grouse conservation and ranching, coining the phrase, "what's good for the herd is good for the bird."

Oregon Farm Bureau

The Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB)  promotes educational improvement, economic opportunity, and social advancement for its members and the farming, ranching, and natural resources industry as a whole.

Oregon Hunters Association

Oregon Hunter Association (OHA) works to provide an abundant huntable wildlife resource in Oregon for present and future generations,
enhancement of wildlife habitat and protection of hunter's rights.

Oregon Natural Desert Association

The Oregon Natural Desert Association works to protect, defend and restore Oregon’s high desert for current and future generations.

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) works to create federal policy and funding solutions by uniting our partners and amplifying the voices of American sportsmen and women in service of Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation legacy.

Willamette Partnership

Willamette Partnership works to build collaborative solutions to complex conservation problems. Willamette Partnership has been active in SageCon planning and has provided expertise in the development of mitigation tools and policies in close partnership with ODFW.

 

Authored by Julia Babcock, National Policy Consensus Center, Portland State University (2017)

 

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