The BLM and Forest service are calling out to the public for ideas on how to help sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). The Federal Agencies are holding meetings throughout the west in January and February with comments due by February 7th. Meetings will be held in Nevada on the following dates: Tonopah, Jan. 9; Ely, Jan. 10; Elko, Jan. 11; Winnemucca, Jan. 12; and Reno, Jan. 30. A complete schedule can be found at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/sagegrouse/western/get_involved.html. Specific times and locations for these meetings will be announced through local media and on the BLM’s greater sage-grouse website at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/sagegrouse.html. Information on how to submit a formal comment can be found on the Federal Register's website.
Sage-grouse, also known as sage-chicken, are a chicken size, ground dwelling bird. They live throughout the west, at elevations between 4,000 and 9,000 feet and they depend on sagebrush for cover and food. Currently, they occupy about 56% of their historic range. Their range is shrinking due to loss of sagebrush habitat. Impacts on the species can result from direct habitat loss, fragmentation of important habitats and direct human disturbance. Fire and invasive plant species are also factors that contribute to the species' decline. In order to help sage-grouse the Fish and Wildlife Service has joined with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to develope the Greater Sage-Grouse Comprehensive Conservation Strategy and has worked with the NRCS to develope conservation opportunities on private lands through the sage-grouse initiative.
Source: Greater Sage-Grouse Fact Sheet; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, March 2011. http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/birds/sagegrouse/
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