CEAP: Wyoming’s Core Area Policy and Conservation Easements Benefit Sage Grouse

Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) Conservation Insight 

Summary Findings:

  • Wyoming supports nearly 40% of the world’s sage-grouse population. Yet many areas of sagebrush habitat in the state are undergoing rapid transformation for energy and residential development.
  • In 2008, Wyoming enacted a pro-active strategy that delineates areas with abundant grouse and limits development within these core habitat areas across the state in an effort to protect the species.
  • A recent study by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), University of Wyoming and the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) looked at potential future residential and energy development to measure how well the policy could sustain sage-grouse numbers in the short and long term.
  • Study findings suggest that the core area policy, combined with targeted conservation easements on private lands, could reduce anticipated sage-grouse losses by half statewide, and by nearly two thirds within core habitat are-as.