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Take Action for Greater Sage-Grouse

Centrocercus_urophasianus_-USA_-male-8Greater Sage-Grouse is one of the iconic species of the North American West, and it’s entirely dependent on wide open sagebrush strewn spaces of the Great Basin for survival. Unfortunately, that region is increasingly under threat of development from oil and gas mining operations, mining pits, and the roads and powerlines that go along with them. And more, even the formerly pristine sagebrush habitat is becoming overrun by livestock, ATVs, and invasive plants like cheatgrass.

While birders have little influence on the welfare of sage-grouse in private lands, we can speak up and make our voices heard in favor of proper management of the public lands that host a large percentage of the Greater Sage-Grouse in North America. Decisions being made by the Bureau of Land Management affect 62 acres of public lands, and the BLM is currently accepting public comment on management plans for that land.

The American Bird Conservancy is asking that birders that time to submit a comment to the BLM encouraging them to adopt strong conservation measures – called the conservation alternative, or “Alternative C” – that will do more to ensure sustainable management for the sage-grouse, not to mention the numbe rof other species that also depend on this ecosystem at various times of the year.

Hopefully, such practices will do even a little to turn around the disappointing trend in sage-grouse populations we’ve seen over the last few decades.

ABC has a form letter available here, but please feel free to include your own story or perspective. Indeed, these sorts of petitions are often more influential when they include a personal touch.

Please do it quickly, as the public comment period ends on WEDNESDAY, 3/26.

Thanks for you help. And hopefully, thanks to efforts by birders such as this one, we’ll continue to be able to enjoy the bizarre booming display of Greater Sage-Grouse for generations to come.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
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