Greater sage-grouse have declined an estimated 80% since 1965 and 40% in the last two decades and the trends continue to be downward. Sagebrush ecosystems have also experienced significant decline reduced to about half of their historic extent. BLM is currently revising its greater sage-grouse conservation strategy and amending 76 resource management plans across the western states accordingly, comments due June 13th. BLM is considering designating Areas of Critical Environmental Concern in a subset of lands across the range as well as an array of other management prescriptions designed to address habitat loss and disturbance. Join us for a high-level overview of BLM’s sage-grouse planning and what is at stake for the Sagebrush Sea.

Vera Smith is a senior policy analyst with Defenders of Wildlife and leads Defenders’ public lands work. Previously, she served as the Director of the National Forest Action Center for The Wilderness Society and Director of Conservation for the Colorado Mountain Club. Smith started her career as a geologist and ranger with the National Park Service. She holds a bachelors of science degree in geology and environmental studies and a masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Land Resources.