Rustici Rangeland Science Symposium Speaker Highlight – Bi-State Sage Grouse Local Area Working Group: Voluntary Partnership Rather than Regulatory Driven Conservation

Steve Lewis, Extension Educator, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Steve Fulstone, Rancher and Member of the Bridgeport Ranchers Organization

Located across 4.5 million acres on the central California-Nevada border, the Bi-State sage grouse is distinctly different from other greater sage grouse populations found across the western United States. The bird was once proposed for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act – citing declines due to livestock grazing, invasive species, altered fire regimes and habitat loss, among other factors. But in April 2015, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced its decision to withdraw the proposed listing based on the clear success of voluntary, collaborative conservation efforts by local stakeholders to recover this species and its habitat. Steve Lewis and Steve Fulstone will discuss the genesis of the Bi-State Local Area Working Group, the The Bi-State Action Plan developed by the partners over the past 15 years to conserve the species, and on-the-ground habitat improvement and conservation efforts coordinated between ranchers, agencies, and conservation organizations.

Click here for more information on this unique social-ecological systems case study in voluntary partnership to conserve a threatened species in a complex setting.