Executive Summary: During the 2019 greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) breeding season, 1,737 aerial and ground lek surveys were conducted at 755 individual lek sites comprising 489 lek complexes. Surveys were conducted at 64.0% of known lek sites in the state. Survey effort during 2019 declined 5.8%, 7.7%, and 6.9% from 2018 levels, in terms of number of surveys conducted, number of leks surveyed, and number of complexes surveyed, respectively. Despite the decline, this constitutes the second highest survey effort accomplished in Oregon to date. Results from these surveys indicate the sage-grouse spring breeding population in Oregon declined by -24.9% between 2018 and 2019, to 13,827 estimated individuals (±1,028 individuals). This constitutes the lowest sage-grouse population estimate in Oregon during the 1980 – 2019 analysis period.
State Local Implementation Teams (LIT's)
(update from Julie Unfried)
A detailed update on community outreach and events is available to reflect Julie’s initial meetings with community members listening to capacity needs to support the Prineville and Vale LIT’s. Thanks to all of the SageCon Partners who have met with Julie or invited her to related meetings and workshops since she came on board in April 2019 as the Local Implementation Team Coordinator through a partnership with Pheasants Forever, Intermountain West Joint Venture, BLM and ODFW.
(update from Jon Jinings) regarding the requested $1,075,258 in federal funding requested and coordination around the Community Adjustment Planning Assistance in Response to Siting of Energy Projects to Support Department of Defense Mission Interests.The Department of Defense is assessing sites owned in Oregon for renewable energy development and is coordinating with DLCD, ODOE and other state agencies to flag species conflict areas including where there is protected sage-grouse populations and habitat. https://www.oregon.gov/das/Financial/Documents/Letlong_Sept2019.xlsx
(update from Marvin Vetter)
The Fields-Andrews RFPA signed a Cooperative Fire Agreement with the BLM last spring that made them eligible for the Rural Fire Readiness Grant
(RFR). This allows the BLM to donate equipment to its Cooperators with the Fields-Andrews RFPA receiving a stocked Type 6 engine with radio, tools, and accessories to respond to range fires. This is the first donation to Oregon RFPAs through the RFR grant. This program will continue to help strengthen the firefighting efforts in the desert. Thanks to Brent Meisinger from BLM East Ops who facilitated this donation.
(update from Maxwell Woods)
On May 22, 2019 the Department issued the Draft Proposed Order (DPO), recommending EFSC approval of the proposed facility (see below). The issuance of the DPO initiates a public comment period that has been extended to August 22, 2019 at 5 p.m. (EFSC extended the deadline in response to a public request at the June 26 public hearing in Pendleton). The Department and EFSC held a series of public hearings on the DPO in June 2019. Read transcripts from the hearings in Ontario, Baker City, La Grande, Pendleton and Boardman.