Sagebrush habitats in southwest Wyoming support a wide variety of sagebrush – obligate wildlife. Perhaps best-known sagebrush obligate is the sage-grouse, which was successfully kept off of the Endangered Species list after coordinated efforts by state and federal resource management agencies to conserve sage-grouse habitat in all states where it occurs. Other Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) that inhabit sagebrush in the WLCI area include Wyoming pocket gopher (Thomomys clusius), sagebrush (formerly sage) sparrow (Artemisiospiza nevadensis), Great Basin spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus Intermontanus), and northern sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus), to name just a few. Each of these species either spends their entire life or at least one critical season (e.g., breeding, winter) in sagebrush habitats.
Within WLCI, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department designated priority areas of sagebrush habitat based on the occurrence of these and other SGCN. Many of these and other areas are affected by competing resource-use activities, invasive plant species, and changing precipitation and temperature patterns, all of which may impact SGCN and other wildlife. Maintaining, enhancing, and restoring these areas requires a suite of management activities, many of which require substantial commitment of resources. The WLCI Coordination Team prioritizes work in crucial sagebrush habitats through solicitation of work proposals from Local Project Development Teams, then evaluates each proposal based on merit in the form of acres treated and direct benefit to the target resource or species.