Public Land Partnership

More than half of all remaining habitat for the greater sage-grouse is on public lands, most of it managed by the Bureau of Land Management

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Male sage grouse displaying. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM

Sage grouse are a landscape species that don’t stop at fences. These iconic birds need large expanses of intact habitat to survive, and require conservation strategies that work across property boundaries. That’s why SGI partners with private landowners as well as agencies that manage public lands to ensure conservation efforts span both sides of the fence in 11 western states.

The BLM recently signed a 5-year agreement to promote win-win solutions for people and wildlife on public lands across the sagebrush sea. Their targeted conservation projects will build off the successful model pioneered by the NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative on private ranchlands.

Collaboration between diverse partners is what’s working to save sage grouse as well as the vast sagebrush sea that sustains communities and 350+ species. The new agreement between BLM and the Intermountain West Joint Venture shows impressive commitment to working cooperatively across boundaries to benefit both working lands and wildlife.

BLM is prioritizing these on-the-ground conservation practices

 (1) Remove encroaching conifers to prevent the loss of native shrubs, grasses and forbs that sage grouse and other wildlife depend upon to thrive. Watch this video about conifer encroachment into sagebrush communities and the collaborative strategies to restore these habitats.

(2) Reduce the threats of invasive annual grasses and catastrophic wildfire by increasing support for actions that protect and restore prime sage grouse habitat before, during, and after wildfires. Watch this video about the collaborative Burley Landscape habitat restoration project in Idaho.

(3) Restore wet meadows (mesic areas) to protect and enhance sage grouse brooding and chick rearing habitats. Read this Science to Solutions research about the importance of mesic areas for sage grouse and the fact that we need an ‘all-lands’ approach to conserve them.

Learn More:

Stories From The Sagebrush Sea On Public Land Partnerships:


VIDEOS | Meet The Thomas Family, Sustainable Ranchers in Idaho

November 20, 2017

Watch short videos to hear how and why two young ranchers have put in place conservation practices that benefit the bird and their herds.

New Science: When Trees Are Cut, Grasses & Shrubs Return

November 14, 2017

Research shows that conifers decrease the native sagebrush grasses and shrubs that wildlife and livestock rely on, and confirms that forage comes back when trees are removed.

Pictured holding his iconic walking stick, Zeedyk is a riparian restoration expert here to teach Montana managers his unique methods for repairing meadows like this one in sagebrush country.Working With Water: Restoring Wet Meadows in the Sage

November 9, 2017

By Sarah Keller for IWJV | In Montana, land managers and conservationists learned how to restore wet meadows for people and wildlife.

Introducing ‘Sagebrush Connections’, A Magazine About Proactive Conservation Partnerships

October 3, 2017

by Thad Heater | The inaugural issue of our new partnership magazine focuses on conserving water resources in sagebrush country.

Local Partners Mimic Beavers To Restore Streams In Wyoming

September 22, 2017

SGI field conservationist Mandi Hirsch shares emerging “beaver dam analogue” technology with local partners, which is paying dividends for working lands and wildlife near Lander.

Digital Storefront Tells Stories of Public Land Sagebrush Partnerships

September 13, 2017

A new website,, tells stories of how collaborative public-private sagebrush conservation benefits people, wildlife, and communities in the West.

Inmates Are Growing Sagebrush in Western Prisons for Wildlife Conservation

September 8, 2017

By Ben Long in Outdoor Life | People incarcerated in state prisons in the West are working to help secure the future of the native big game and game birds of the American West.

Photo courtesy Nick Myatt, Oregon Department of Fish and WildlifeNew Science: Sage Grouse Population Increases When Western Juniper Pushed Back

April 27, 2017

A new study funded in part by the NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative found that survival rates of both female sage grouse and their nests increased where encroaching juniper trees were removed.