RSVP for the Dec 8 & 9 SageCon Summit & Dec 14 & 15 Invasives Workshop
RSVP for the  Dec 8 & 9 SageCon Summit &  Dec 14 & 15 Invasives Workshop
Sage Grouse Conservation Partnership
August-November News and Updates (Sent December 1, 2020)
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The SageCon Partnership provides a forum for coordination across stakeholders in Oregon interested in rangeland health, sage-grouse, and rural communities in sagebrush country. The partnership formed in 2012 and developed the 2015 Oregon Sage-Grouse Action Plan. SageCon staff at the National Policy Consensus Center and Institute for Natural Resources continue to coordinate efforts through the SageCon Coordinating Council, Staff Implementation Team and topic-focused work groups.The SageCon website contains policy/process information, technical tools and articles of interest to SageCon partners. Reference/meeting materials from the Coordinating Council, Staff Implementation Team and Invasives Initiative are posted (here).

Federal Updates
BLM has published the Oregon Final Supplemental EIS, Greater Sage-Grouse 2020 to address issues identified in the October 16, 2019 order issued by the U.S. District Court for Idaho that placed a preliminary injunction suspending implementation of sage-grouse plans the BLM adopted in March 2019. The review period ends 12/21/2020. Contact Jim Regan-Vienop, BLM P&EC/Program Analyst for more information.  As a reminder, the 2019 BLM Resource Management Plan revision was narrowly focused in Oregon on continuing to allow grazing in Resource Natural Areas (RNA’s) and clarifications to BLM’s mitigation approach (retaining the net conservation gain standard and ensuring consistency with the state’s mitigation program). (Press Release) November 19, 2020.
BLM released the Programattic Environmental Impact Statement for fuels reduction and rangeland restoration across a 223 million-acre area that includes portions of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah. (Press Release). November 27, 2020.
The Oregon Sage Grouse Initiative offers financial incentives and technical assistance to help private landowners remove invasive conifers such as westernjuniper, address invasions of annual grasses such as medusahead and cheatgrass, improve wet meadow and riparian habitat, and address other threats to sage grouse on their land. Practices available through the program promote overall rangeland health in sage grouse habitat and also address resource concerns including wildlife habitat, irrigation efficiency, water quality/quantity, wildfire risk reduction, and more. Check out the 2021 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Funding Opportunities and screening/ranking criteria for Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation in Oregon online.
NRCS has partnered with an artist from the Washoe Tribe in Nevada to create the Dance of the Sage-Grouse: Bridging Culture and Conservation and brochure.
State Updates
The High Desert Rangeland Fire Protection Association was featured for their heroic work on response and containment of the Brattain Fire in Paisley and signing the first agreement of its kind with USFS. The article and videos reflect the critical role of RFPA's and coordination with federal agencies and the overall "neighbors helping neighbors" approach.  Check out 2020 RFPA Directory and the new website:

The 2020 ODFW Population Report has been released, the report projects a 1.7% increase in the spring breeding population between 2019 and 2020. Of the 1,180 individual leks, and 795 lek complexes known to exist or have existed in the state, 65.5% and 63.4%, respectively, were surveyed during 2020.

In 2015, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) adopted sage-grouse- specific administrative rules for implementing Goal 5 of Oregon’s land use system (OAR 660-023-0115), otherwise known as the "Sage-Grouse Rule." The rule defines significant sage-grouse habitat and identifies land uses that conflict with mating and rearing. It directs counties to review development permit applications using avoidance and mitigation criteria, and it also sets a limit on the amount of core habitat that can be lost due to new development. DLCD is now undertaking a 5-year review, with an LCDC hearing expected in January 2021. Input is being solicited from counties, federal and state agencies, and non-governmental partners that participated in the 2015 Rulemaking Advisory Committee process.  For more information contact Jon Jinings or visit the DLCD ESA Candidate Species page.
SageCon Partner Leadership Updates/Transition

Happy Trails to Molly Anthony who has been an invaluable part of the SageCon Partnership as the OR/WA Sage-grouse Implementation Coordinator since 2017. Thank you Molly, we wish you well in your new role as the Emergency Stabilization & Rehabilitation Coordinator for BLM in Boise.

Best of luck to Angela Sitz who has served for decades with USFWS as a Wildlife Biologist - Rangeland Health Specialist and intregal leader from the beginning of the SageCon Partnership. Thank you Angela for your years of service working in the field with land managers on CCAA's and RFPA's.

A Warm Welcome to Dr. Stu Garrett who is stepping into the role of Conservation Representative for the SageCon Partnership Coordinating Council. Stu is a lifelong Oregonian; growing up in Klamath County and the last 40 years in Bend. He spent time in the Millican Valley before the sage-grouse populations there went extinct. He is the President of the Native Plant Society of Oregon, with 15+ years working on the volunteer board with the Nature Conservancy and serving on the Oregon Audubon Council 
Rangeland Stories and Research in the News
SageCon Technical Resources on the Web
Stay connected and find resources through the SageCon Partnership website. On the site, find the SageCon Tools Navigator, which provides a one-stop-shop for SageCon tools and technical resources such as:
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