Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5089
Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management
Edited by: Warren C. DayThomas P. FrostJane M. Hammarstrom, and Michael L. Zientek



Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089 and accompanying data releases are the products of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Sagebrush Mineral-Resource Assessment (SaMiRA). The assessment was done at the request of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to evaluate the mineral-resource potential of some 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The need for this assessment arose from the decision by the Secretary of the Interior to pursue the protection of large tracts of contiguous habitat for the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Western United States. One component of the Department of the Interior plan to protect the habitat areas includes withdrawing selected lands from future exploration and development of mineral and energy resources, including copper, gold, silver, rare earth elements, and other commodities used in the U.S. economy. The assessment evaluates the potential for locatable minerals such as gold, copper, and lithium and describes the nature and occurrence of leaseable and salable minerals for seven Sagebrush Focal Areas and additional lands in Nevada (“Nevada additions”) delineated by BLM. Supporting data are available in a series of USGS data releases describing mineral occurrences (the USGS Mineral Deposit Database or “USMIN”), oil and gas production and well status, previous mineral-resource assessments that covered parts of the areas studied, and a compilation of mineral-use cases based on data provided by BLM, as well as results of the locatable mineral-resource assessment in a geographic information system. The present assessment of mineral-resource potential will contribute to a better understanding of the economic and environmental trade-offs that would result from closing approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands to mineral entry.

Suggested Citation

Day, W.C., Frost, T.P., Hammarstrom, J.M., and Zientek, M.L., eds., 2016, Mineral Resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089,

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2016-5089
DOI 10.3133/sir20165089
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 5 Chapters; 7 Data Releases
Country United States
State Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details