The Snake River Field Station of the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center has developed and now maintains a database of the spatial information
needed to address management of sage grouse and sagebrush steppe habitats in the western United States. The SAGEMAP project identifies and collects infor-mation for the region encompassing the historical extent of sage grouse distribution. State and federal agencies, the primary entities responsible for managing sage grouse and their habitats, need the information to develop an objective assessment of the current status of sage grouse populations and their habitats, or to provide responses and recommendations for recovery if sage grouse are listed as a Threatened or Endangered Species.
The spatial data on the SAGEMAP website (http://SAGEMAP.wr.usgs.gov) are an important component in documenting current habitat and other environmental conditions. In addition, the data can be used to identify areas that have undergone significant changes in land cover and to determine underlying causes. As such, the database permits an analysis for large-scale and range-wide factors that may be causing declines of sage grouse populations. The spatial data contained on this site also will be a critical component guiding the decision processes for restoration of habitats in the Great Basin. Therefore, development of this database and the capability to disseminate the information carries multiple benefits for land and wildlife management.