Public Comment Sought on Sage-Grouse Core Area Map Revisions

Governor Mark Gordon is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to the State of Wyoming’s sage-grouse core area protection map. The initial revisions were developed and are being proposed by the Sage-grouse Implementation Team (SGIT) subcommittee. The original sage-grouse core area protection strategy and map were developed in 2008, revised in 2015 and again in 2019. The core area map encompasses approximately 15 million acres of sage-grouse habitat in Wyoming. 

The Bureau of Land Management is considering significant land use amendments that may alter the  management of sage-grouse habitat on public lands. As part of this process, the BLM will update its sage-grouse habitat map. It is the intention of the State of Wyoming that this takes place in a collaborative manner that recognizes and implements SGIT recommendations. 

That SGIT subcommittee was asked to consider and review new science and data. The recommendations include input from conservation interests, private landowners, energy development officials, local government and state agencies. Their recommendations have been further informed by a series of meetings with seven Local Sage-grouse Working Groups and interested parties over the past three weeks. 

“Wyoming has a proven track record in sage-grouse management and science,” said Governor Gordon.  “Public participation is essential, will inform my review, help identify areas where we can improve upon what is already working and better calibrate our overall approach.”

Members of SGIT are governor-appointed and work collaboratively to protect sage-grouse under the State of Wyoming’s Sage-Grouse Executive Order. The group meets approximately six times a year to discuss sage-grouse-related issues under the direction of Chairman Bob Budd.  

“The process we are using is the same process we have used from the inception of this program,” Budd said. “Clearly, with the BLM responding to court decisions, their timeline is contracted, but we will continue to work with our partners and the public to maintain a transparent process that includes adequate opportunity for public comment.  It remains our intent to make well-informed decisions that maintain Sage-grouse, their habitats and our economy.”

Written comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. June 28 through a Google form. The Governor will issue a final version of the map to update his Executive Order.