USGS & USFS Release New Rangeland Fire Science Plan
New plan identifies priority science needs in 5 areas: fire, invasive plants, restoration, sagebrush & greater sage-grouse, and climate & weatherFind out how
Sage-grouse & Sagebrush Steppe
Programs L2 Landing Page
USGS has been a leader in sagebrush steppe ecosystem research and continues to meet the priority science needs of management agencies. We bring a diversity of expertise and capabilities to address a wide variety of science needs at multiple spatial scales and are committed to provide high quality science to our management partners.
Conservation and restoration of the sagebrush ecosystem is a major challenge. There are numerous threats to the ecosystem including increasing risk of wildfire, invasion by exotic annual grasses, expansion of conifer trees, development for agricultural use and energy extraction, and many other natural and human caused disturbances. Restoration of sagebrush habitat following a disturbance is...
Across the extent of the sagebrush ecosystem, USGS scientists are studying sagebrush ecosystem components to help understand management actions that can best improve habitat conditions.
In addition to the greater sage-grouse, more than 350 other wildlife species depend on the sagebrush ecosystem for all or part of their life requirements.
Despite being one of the most well-studied upland game birds in North America, key knowledge gaps persist in the understanding of sage-grouse biology. USGS scientists are working to address these knowledge gaps in key areas including the development of population models that incorporate information about the complexities of the biological processes and dynamic habitats, improving the...
Additional resources and related links for the sage-grouse and sagebrush steppe program are listed below.
Listed below are the names of USGS principal investigators working on sage-grouse or sagebrush steppe ecosystem issues.
This research theme provides land managers information to help them make restoration decision at local and landscape scales.
USGS helps support stakeholders through the development of decision support tools and other products including strategy documents, web-based tools, and scientific reviews.
Geospatial Data for Object-Based High-Resolution Classification of Conifers within Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat across Nevada and a Portion of Northeastern California
These products were developed to provide scientific and correspondingly spatially explicit information regarding the distribution and abundance of conifers (namely, singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla), Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), and western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)) in Nevada and portions of northeastern California.
Annotated bibliography of scientific research on Greater Sage-grouse published since January 2015
The Greater Sage-grouse annotated bibliography was developed as a synthesis of scientific information developed since the records of decision were completed for 2015 Bureau of Land Management/U.S. Department of Agriculture plan amendments for Greater Sage-grouse. This site provides an interactive, searchable interface to summaries of the scientific literature.
Land Treatment Digital Library
The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the U.S. Geological Survey to catalog legacy land treatment information on Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. The LTDL currently houses thousands of treatments from BLM lands across 10 states.
Conservation Efforts Database
The Conservation Efforts Database is a partnership between the USGS and USFWS to collect and analyze ongoing conservation efforts for the Greater Sage-Grouse. Understanding the distribution and type of conservation actions happening across the landscape will allow visualization and quantification of the extent to which threats are being addressed.
Early Estimates of Herbaceous Annual Cover in the Sagebrush Ecosystem
These data were developed to provide land managers and researchers with early-season, near-real-time predictions of spatially explicit percent cover predictions of herbaceous annual vegetation in the study area. Appropriate use of the data should be defined by the user; however, this data comes with several caveats.
The National Phenology Database
The database houses contemporary and historical data on organismal phenology across the nation. These data are being used in a number of applications for science, conservation and resource management. Customizable data downloads using specific dates, regions, species and phenophases, are freely available.
Shrubs, bunchgrasses, and biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are believed to contribute to site resistance to plant invasions.
At the request of the BLM, the USGS worked with federal and state agency partners to develop a report that synthesizes the scientific literature published since records of decision were completed for 2015 BLM/USDA Forest Service land use plan amendments for greater sage-grouse, and provides potential management implications of the science.
The sheer number of scientific publications related to greater sage-grouse research can be a challenge for managers to navigate when updating plans for managing greater sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystems. To assist in this process, the USGS reviewed and summarized scientific literature published since January 1, 2015.
Effects of livestock grazing on greater sage-grouse populations can be positive or negative depending on the amount of grazing and when grazing occurs, according to research published today in Ecological Applications. The research was conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, Colorado State University and Utah State University.
The sagebrush ecosystem in the western U.S is one of the largest ecosystems in North America, but it is also threatened from wildfire and invasive plants. “Restoration of these unique ecosystems will help sustain wildlife and livelihoods throughout the West," said David Pyke, the USGS ecologist and lead author of the final installment of a three-part sagebrush restoration handbook.
The U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management today released a collaborative report with new information and tools to support effective management of millions of acres of BLM public lands. The report underscores the value of a landscape approach to management, and shows that the BLM manages some of the largest areas of intact public lands in the west.
At the request of the Bureau of Land Management, USGS has released an assessment of mineral resources in six Western states.
The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Geological Survey have published a hub to enable easy visualization and access to geospatial data about the west’s “sagebrush sea.” This will help guide sagebrush conservation efforts during the 2016 fire season and beyond.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Low-quality nesting and winter seasonal habitats are strong predictors of reduced gene flow between greater sage-grouse breeding locations, according to research just published in Ecology and Evolution and authored by the U.S. Geological Survey and their colleagues at the University of Waterloo.