The SageCon partnership is developing a suite of web tools to provide information, data and maps for SageCon partners planning activities in sage-grouse habitat in Oregon. Below is a list of the SageCon tools currently available and in development designed to help with sage-grouse planning.
WEB TOOLS FOR CONSERVATION Planning DECISION SUPPORT
The Sage-Grouse Data Viewer is a web-based interactive map that allows anyone to view, explore and download spatial data related to sage-grouse habitat and threats in Oregon. The Viewer includes a wide range of datasets, from vegetation condition to themes rating areas in terms of fire and invasives threat, biodiversity significance, and energy development potential. Supplemental data layers are included in the Viewer such as previous wildfire perimeters, seasonal sage-grouse habitat, and sage-grouse habitat management boundaries. Ongoing work in 2019 will add customized querying and reporting functions, allowing users to identify areas that meet user-defined criteria. This will allow partners to better target their work and make use of spatial data, even if they don't have advanced GIS skills.
WEB TOOLS FOR DEVELOPMENT IN SAGE-GROUSE HABITAT
The SageCon Partnership has also built tools to aid developers, county planning departments, and state agencies in minimizing impacts of development in sage-grouse habitat and complying with new sage-grouse rules relating to development and mitigation. The state of Oregon has committed to limiting human development disturbance within sage-grouse Priority Areas for Conservation (PACs or core areas). 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.
The Sage-Grouse Development Registry is a web mapping application to track the amount of development present within sage-grouse PACs, including a report of the amounts and types of development in each PAC. It also allows authorized county and state agency staff to add new proposed and permitted development projects into the Registry as a central repository for all new development in sage-grouse habitat.
The Sage-Grouse Development Siting Tool is designed to help developers avoid impacts to sage-grouse while also minimizing mitigation costs. By using this tool early in the process of development siting, developers and agency staff can avoid spending time and resources on sites that will be highly impactful to sage-grouse, with extensive mitigation requirements. This tool provides information about the mitigation hierarchy, direct and indirect impact areas, habitat designations, potential minimization measures, a relative mitigation estimate score, and permitting and contact information. This estimate will not replace a consultation with ODFW or collection of field data, but will allow developers to anticipate some of the mitigation considerations early in the process and compare potential sites.
Authored by Megan Creutzburg, Institute for Natural Resources (2017)