Sage grouse Management Plans

To avoid the destructive impacts of the proposed listing under the Endangered Species Act of the greater sage grouse—a species whose habitat covers 172 million acres across 11 states—property owners, industry, environmental groups, and state and local governments worked together on voluntary, collaborative conservation plans to protect the species without the need for a federal listing. Although they succeeded in avoiding the listing, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service imposed many of the burdens anyway by adopting a restrictive land use plan for almost 73 million acres of federal land in 10 Western states. The State of Idaho, industry, and environmental groups have challenged the controversial plan. Although the land use plans impose significant restrictions on activity throughout a massive area of the western states, the agencies did not submit it to Congress as required by the CRA. Therefore, it cannot be legally enforced and remains vulnerable to congressional disapproval.