USFS Issues Corrected Notice of Intent to Remove References to Lands in Montana for Greater sage grouse Forest Plan Amendments

Contact(s): Wade Muehlhof (801) 625-5302

On July 2, 2018, the Forest Service corrected a June 20, 2018 Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register to clarify the geographic scope of proposed actions for Greater sage grouse plan amendments. The correction also restarts the 30 day public comment period, which now ends August 1, 2018.  The June 20, 2018 Supplemental NOI was corrected because it erroneously identified Forest System lands in Montana as being considered for amendment.  Forest Service leadership had previously determined, however, that plan amendments are not currently needed in Montana.

The Forest Service is proposing to amend, with ongoing input and collaboration from affected states, the Forest Service land management plans that were amended in 2015 regarding greater sage-grouse conservation in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah.

The purpose of proposed changes are to improve the clarity, efficiency, and implementation of greater sage-grouse plans, including better alignment with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and state plans, in order to benefit greater sage-grouse conservation on the landscape scale. The agency will use lessons learned from new science, scoping and implementing during the last three years to make revised plans more efficient. Proposed actions are intended to improve sage-grouse conservation and although some management areas, such as Sagebrush Focal Areas may change in name designation, limits to development and other protections will remain.

Commenters are encouraged to comment on the textual edits that are being considered.  After reviewing comments to the corrected NOI, the Forest Service plans to continue the planning process for amending plans on units in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah, with multi-regional draft and final Environmental Impact Statements. Plan amendments should be finalized in the spring of 2019.

To read and comment on the Supplemental NOI, visit: