Skip to main content

You are here

Sage-Grouse

SageCon Decision Support Web Tools and Maps

The SageCon partnership is developing a suite of web tools to provide information, data and maps for federal and state agencies, local districts, landowners, developers, and conservation organizations planning activities in sage-grouse habitat in Oregon. Below is a list of the current SageCon tools designed to help with sage-grouse planning.

Web Tool for Planning in Sage-Grouse Habitat 

Image of sage-grouse data viewer

The Sage-Grouse Data Viewer is a web-based mapping application that allows the public to access up-to-date data layers related to sage-grouse habitat and threats in Oregon. Users can view data for the entire sage-grouse range in Oregon, or navigate to their location of interest, while advanced users can download data for analysis. The Viewer includes a suite of theme-based scores that rate areas across eastern Oregon by their habitat viability, fire and invasives threat, biodiversity significance, and energy development potential. Each theme consists of multiple indicator datasets which are also included in the Viewer. Supplemental data layers are included in the Viewer such as vegetation condition, previous wildfire perimeters, seasonal sage-grouse habitat, and sage-grouse habitat management boundaries.

 

WEB TOOLS FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN SAGE-GROUSE HABITAT

The SageCon Partnership is currently building tools to aid developers, county planning departments, and state agencies in complying with the sage-grouse rules relating to development in sage-grouse habitat. The state of Oregon has committed to limiting human development disturbance within sage-grouse Priority Areas for Conservation (PACs). Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 660-023-0115 sets development thresholds for each PAC: developed area is limited to 3% overall per PAC, and new development must not exceed 1% per decade. OARs 660-023-0115 and 635-140-0000 also outline a mitigation hierarchy designed to steer development away from areas important for sage-grouse and provide a net conservation benefit to the species through compensatory mitigation.

Image of sage-grouse development registry toolThe Sage-grouse Development Registry is a web mapping application that allows the public to explore the amount of development present within sage-grouse PACs. It also allows authorized county and state agency staff to add new proposed and permitted development projects into the Registry. This tool has three purposes:

  • Capture newly permitted development within sage-grouse habitat and track the amount of development per PAC in a central database.
  • Allow county planners and Oregon state agency staff to add proposed new development projects, ensure development thresholds are not exceeded prior to approving permits (for projects in PACs), and capture development information needed for mitigation tools.
  • Allow the public to view and generate a report detailing the amount and type of development in each sage-grouse PAC.

The Development Siting Tool (currently under development, anticipated completion by December 2017) is designed to help developers understand land use and mitigation rules in sage-grouse habitat. This siting tool will provide information about the potential mitigation requirements for a specific location and development type, including:

  • Avoidance – Development activities are limited in sage-grouse PACs, and the tool will alert the user if the identified area is affected by the avoidance requirement.
  • Minimization – Measures to minimize the impacts of the development, such as seasonal restrictions on operations, can reduce the mitigation required for a development project. The tool will provide information about common minimization measures and estimate their influence on the project’s estimated mitigation obligation.
  • Compensatory mitigation – The tool will return an estimated range for the expected mitigation obligation based on the Habitat Quantification Tool. This estimate will not replace a consultation with ODFW or collection of field data, but will allow developers to anticipate potential mitigation costs and compare sites to reduce the cost and impact to sage-grouse.

For more information about mitigation in sage-grouse habitat, see the ODFW sage-grouse website.

Other Decision Support Tools

Additional tools will be made available in 2018 to further assist planners and decision makers with restoration and development activities in sage-grouse habitat, including restoration siting and mitigation credit siting web tools. These tools will be developed to allow agencies, conservation groups, and mitigation creditors access data related to restoration planning, identify areas with the highest restoration potential, and assist in placing restoration and mitigation activities in areas where it will have the maximum benefit to sage-grouse.

 

Authored by Megan Creutzburg, Institute for Natural Resources (2017)

randomness