Protecting the Greater Sage-grouse

Michelle Alvarado   Website

The Greater Sage-grouse, a bird native to Oregon’s high desert and other parts of the West, faces serious threats to its survival due to habitat loss caused by poorly managed livestock grazing, invasive species, wildfire, energy development and other human land uses.

ONDA is taking proactive steps to ensure that sage-grouse are protected for future generations.

ONDA has participated in collaborative planning processes to protect and recover sage-grouse populations in Oregon since 2010, when the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the species warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act. The collaborative planning processes led to a plan that, if implemented rapidly and completely, could preserve the bird and its habitat. The plan was the primary reason the Greater Sage-grouse was not added to the Endangered Species List.

Unfortunately, the Department of the Interior has since moved to undermine the significant efforts that were underway to prevent the continued decline of the species. Under the direction of former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the Trump Administration rolled back protections for sage-grouse range-wide in a batch of plan amendments finalized in March of 2019.

ONDA, joined by Audubon Society of Portland and Defenders of Wildlife, filed a lawsuit requesting a federal district judge to vacate the Bureau of Land management’s recent and unfounded decision to reverse course on the agency’s 2015 conservation plan for sage-grouse in Oregon. ONDA pursued litigation against the Trump Administration in the hope that it will allow the BLM to fully implement the 2015 plan in Oregon as envisioned by the agency and collaborating stakeholders