Conservation Success – 2018 SGI Scorecard

April 2, 2019

SGI Scorecard Highlights our Successes


Since the Sage Grouse Initiative first began in 2010, we’ve accrued some impressive conservation statistics: more than 1,800 enrolled ranchers and more than 7 million acres of improved rangeland, all of which add up to better sage grouse habitat, better rangeland health, stronger farming and ranching communities, and an improved outlook for the iconic bird.

In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that putting the sage grouse on the Endangered Species List was not warranted, but we didn’t stop working to improve sagebrush habitat. Instead, we set aggressive milestones for the six conservation practices we implement with our partners and producers. Our goal was to complete or exceed each milestone by the end of fiscal year 2018.

Despite our work (and the work of many others), threats to the bird’s long-term health still remain. These threats also impact other wildlife and even the ranchers and communities that also rely on healthy sagebrush landscapes. That’s why we have continued to work with ranchers and our partners across the west to improve sagebrush habitat by strategically focusing our  conservation practices:

    • Removing encroached conifers, improving habitat for sage grouse and other wildlife and

      Click on the image to see the full scorecard.

      increasing forage availability for livestock.

    • Improving grazing systems management.
    • Identifying and mark fences to reduce fence strikes.
    • Increasing connectivity of existing core habitat.
    • Improving weed and invasive species management.
    • Restoring and promote healthy, productive springs and seeps.

The new 2018 SGI Scorecard shows how we’ve done since 2015. Highlights include:

    • Total NRCS investment of $160 million in SGI-related conservation and activities.
    • 727 contracts covering almost 3 million acres of land for SGI-related conservation and activities.
    • Removed invading conifers on 243,000 acres.
    • Protected nearly 1 million acres of rangeland from cultivation.
    • Marked 700,000 feet of fencing to reduce sage grouse – fence collisions.
    • And lots more…



The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.