New federal strategy to protect sagebrush landscapes and rangeland in 2015

Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, issued a Secretarial Order on January 6, 2015 calling for a science-based approach to address the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires in sagebrush landscapes and productive rangelands, especially in the Great Basin region of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California. This new strategy involves establishing a Rangeland Fire Task Force, which will work alongside other federal agencies, states, tribes, local entities, and non-governmental groups to improve fire management and habitat restoration activities.

Goals outlined include:

  • reducing size, severity and cost of rangeland fires;
  • addressing invasive species; and
  • increasing effectiveness of wildland fire management resources.

Secretary Jewell stated, “Targeted action is urgently needed to conserve habitat for the greater sage-grouse and other wildlife in the Great Basin, as well as to maintain ranching and recreation economies that depend on sagebrush landscapes. The Secretarial Order further demonstrates our strong commitment to work with our federal, state, tribal and community partners to reduce the likelihood and severity of rangeland fire, stem the spread of invasive species, and restore the health and resilience of sagebrush ecosystems.”

Read the full story and find links to further information here: DOI News Release 1.6.15 (.doc) >