Idaho-Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Areas for the Idaho and Southwestern Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Conservation Areas are seamless and cover the extent of the Idaho-SW Montana GRSG EIS. They include non-habitat as well as habitat/Sage-Grouse Management areas identified in all alternatives. The Sage-grouse Conservation Areas are intended to be used for summarizing sage-grouse habitat and form the geographic basis for evaluating disturbance density and adaptive management strategies. The Idaho Governor's Conservation Areas were used as the foundation for this layer.
The initial boundaries delineated in the Idaho Governor's Conservation areas were expanded to include all lands within the Idaho-SW Montana GRSG EIS boundary, as well as the area in Utah managed by the Sawtooth National Forest, and the area within the Dillon and Butte BLM Field Offices in SW Montana. The area in Utah was merged with the Idaho Southern Conservation Area. The area in SW Montana was grouped as the Southwestern Montana Conservation Area. The Idaho Governor's Conservation Areas were based on Alternative E Habitat. These areas were expanded to include all Greater Sage-Grouse habitat / Greater sage-grouse management areas identified in any of the alternatives, as well remaining areas outside those areas within the Idaho-SW Montana GRSG EIS. Features such as rivers and roads were used to split those areas so that they could be merged with the Conservation Area
There are five Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Areas in the EIS boundary: Idaho Mountain Valleys Conservation Area, Idaho Desert Conservation Area, Idaho Southern Conservation Area, Idaho West Owyhee Conservation Area, and the Southwestern Montana Conservation Area. The area in Utah managed by the Sawtooth National Forest was grouped with the Idaho Southern Conservation Area. The areas in Southwestern Montana were grouped as the Southwestern Montana Conservation Area.
The Mountain Valleys Conservation Area is located north of the Snake River, and includes the Sage-grouse West-Central population area. It extends west from Rexburg, north and west of Highway 33 to Howe, north and west of Highway 33/22 to Arco, north and west of Highway 26/20/93 to Carey, north and west of Highway 20 to Hill City, north and west of Highway 20 to the Dylan Karaus Road, west to Canyon Creek. Canyon Creek to the confluence with the Snake River form the western boundary of the Mountain Valleys Conservation Area.
The Desert Conservation area is located north of the Snake River and south of the Mountain Valleys Conservation Area. It extends from the confluence of the Canyon Creek and Snake RIvers, eastward to Idaho Falls. The Snake River and Henry's Fork form the eastern boundary of the Desert Conservation Area.
The West Owyhee Conservation Area is located south of the Snake River and west of the Bruneau River.
The Southern Conservation Area is located south of the Snake River and east of the Bruneau River, including East Idaho Uplands and Bear Lake Plateau, and the area in Utah managed by the Sawtooth National Forest.
Southwestern Montana Conservation Area is located in southwestern Montana, encompassing the BLM Dillon and Butte Field Offices.
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