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Sage grouse -- Habitat -- Conservation, Sage grouse -- Oregon -- Management


The Sage-Grouse Conservation Partnership, also known as “SageCon,” was an unprecedented collaborative effort among federal, state, and private stakeholders to address landscape-scale threats to greater sage-grouse while also acknowledging rural economic and community interests across eastern Oregon’s sagebrush range. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) preliminary finding that the sage-grouse warranted listing under the endangered species act, and a subsequent court settlement setting a deadline for a final listing decision were key drivers for SageCon participants to seek proactive solutions to protect the bird. A cadre of diverse Eastern Oregon stakeholders with experience working collaboratively on related public lands issues helped set the stage for the collaborative effort.

As part of what the Department of the Interior described as a historic outcome, SageCon produced the 2015 Oregon Sage-Grouse Action Plan, which details voluntary and state-regulated conservation measures to preserve habitat and protect Oregon’s sage-grouse population from threats on public and private land. SageCon—as one part of a broader multi-state collaborative effort—led to a subsequent USFWS finding that the sage-grouse no longer warranted listing as endangered.

In our study of this collaborative effort, we interviewed seventeen SageCon participants to identify collaborative approaches that may offer promise for other conservation and public policy efforts. We explored participant motivation for engaging in the process, collaborative process design, integration of science into the SageCon deliberations, and other experiences that interviewees found relevant.

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