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Sage-Grouse Plans, Policies, Incentive Programs and Agreements in Oregon

A long history of conversations about sage-grouse in Oregon and throughout the Western U.S. has resulted in a wide range of plans, policies and agreements that set the foundation for sage-grouse conservation in the state. More recent venues for these conversations include the Sage-Grouse Task Force across 11 Western States (coordinated through the Western Governor’s Association) and the SageCon Partnership in Oregon (established through the Governor’s office and related collaborative efforts). This page provides a list of the most relevant plans and policies - organized by major areas or topics - with links to documents or websites where possible. These efforts were and remain relevant to the 2015 decision by the US Fish & Wildlife Service that the Greater Sage-Grouse did not warrant listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Plans

State of Oregon:

Bureau of Land Management (BLM): In September 2015 the BLM adopted resource management plans for conserving greater sage-grouse habitat on federal public lands, including the Oregon Sub-regional Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment (Approved RMPA) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). These plans are currently under review as of June 2018. BLM provides guidance on implementation of plans through Instruction Memoranda. See the BLM sage-grouse webpage for updates and information regarding sage-grouse conservation priorities and actions.

US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS): The 2013 Conservation Objectives Team Report guided the work of federal, state and local partners to characterize and address threats to sage-grouse in order to achieve neutral or positive population trends.

US Forest Service: The Forest Service has collaborated closely with the BLM on its management plans throughout the range of sage-grouse and plans are under revision as of June 2018. More information can be found here.
 

Key Executive and Secretarial Orders

State of Oregon: Executive Order 15-18 (2015) issued by Governor Brown directs state agencies to implement the Oregon Sage-Grouse Action Plan.

Department of Interior Secretarial Orders:
  • Secretarial Order 3353 (June 2017) was issued by Secretary Zinke to increase cooperation between federal and state partners, support partnership of federal and state partners, and review Federal sage-grouse plan amendments.
  • Secretarial Order 3349 (March 2017) was issued by Secretary Zinke to implement review of agency actions directed by the 2017 President’s Executive Order on energy independence. It also directs a reexamination of the mitigation and climate change policies and guidance across the Department of the Interior in order to balance conservation strategies and policies with creating jobs.
  • Secretarial Order 3336 (January 2015) was issued by Secretary Jewell to set policies and strategies for preventing and suppressing rangeland fire and restoraing sagebrush landscapes impacted by fire.

​Development and Mitigation

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW): ODFW OAR 635-140-0000 sets goals for sage-grouse population management, establishes a core area approach to sage-grouse conservation, and outlines a mitigation hierarchy designed to steer development away from areas important for sage-grouse and provide a net conservation benefit to the species.

Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD): Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 660-023-0115 sets development thresholds for each sage-grouse priority area for conservation (PAC) - developed area is limited to 3% overall per PAC, and new development must not exceed 1% per decade - and establishes a mitigation hierarchy of avoidance, minimization and compensatory mitigation.

Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE): ODOE established criteria for the Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) to apply in their General Standard of Review through OAR 345-022-0060 to avoid impact to core and low-density sage-grouse habitat.

US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS): The 2014 Greater Sage-Grouse Range-Wide Mitigation Framework outlined factors USFWS is likely to consider in evaluating the efficacy of mitigation practices and programs in reducing threats to sage-grouse.

Habitat Conservation

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB): OWEB identified Sagebrush/Sage-Steppe Habitat as a Focused Investment Partnership Priority. OWEB has made substantial investments in conservation throughout the state through its FIP and other programs, and committed $10 million over 10 years to sagebrush conservation in 2015.

Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA): The ODA Noxious Weed Control Program addresses noxious weeds in Oregon through Cooperative Weed Management Areas and other local programs. The Oregon State Weed Board also awards noxious weed control targeted lottery funds throughout the state.

US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS): USFWS oversees voluntary conservation agreements, including Candidate Conservation Agreements (CCAs) and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs) developed with private landowners and the state. This effort has been especially prominent in Oregon. USFWS has established a Programmatic CCA for rangeland management on BLM lands in Oregon and a CCAA with the Oregon State Land Board for lands operated by the Department of State Lands. A programmatic CCAA was also established in Harney, Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Lake and Malheur Counties.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS):

  • NRCS launched the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) in 2010 as a targeted and science-based landscape approach to proactively conserve sage-grouse and sustain the working rangelands that support western ranching economies. Through its multi-sector partnerships, SGI has conserved 5.6 million acres of sagebrush country.
  • The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is an NRCS program that offers voluntary conservation opportunities for conservation partners and agricultural producers.
 

 

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