Wrapped up in the name “sage-grouse” are a host of complex issues related to public lands, the settlement of the American West, roles and layers of government, rural communities, energy and economic development, wildfire, outdoor recreation and vast ecosystems supporting unique and important wildlife. While often expressed shorthand in the name of this particular bird species, these deeper, ongoing threads and conversations continue to shape Oregon and the West as a whole. Oregon is home to over 15 million acres of sage-grouse habitat spanning private and public lands across eight counties in Eastern Oregon. The sagebrush steppe ecosystem serves the needs of hundreds of plant and animal species from the declining pygmy rabbit to flowering plants, shrubs and grasses. Sage-Grouse represent an umbrella species in the sagebrush sea as it has disappeared from most of its historic range and faces threats from fire, invasive species and habitat fragmentation.
The SageCon Partnership’s overarching goal is to advance policies and actions that reduce threats to sage-grouse and Oregon’s sagebrush ecosystem as well as promote rural community and economic health, according to the goals, approaches and strategies adopted in the Sage-Grouse State Action Plan in 2015.