Audubon Rockies Conservation Ranching Program
By first listening to the ranching community, trusting in their knowledge of sustainable land management, and learning from their adaptability and resiliency in a volatile marketplace, we are ensuring that our strategies and solutions will benefit both people and nature. We provide them with a value added program and certification that can benefit their bottom line.
(See our brochure here) represent one of the best hopes for conservation across the American West. Ranches and farms cover more than one billion acres of the United States. Audubon recently received a Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA NRCS that will allow this program to flourish. See the Press Release Here
Birds are highly sensitive to landscape changes which makes them excellent indicators of over-all ecosystem health. Grassland birds, as a group, experienced the steepest decline of over-all ecosystem health. Since the 1960's populations of several key species have declines as much as 80%.
Audubon’s Solution: Keep Ranchers Ranching
"Included in the mission of our ranch is the idea that good stewardship is important for the long term financial health of the ranch, as well as the health of the sagebrush-grassland we manage. Partnering with Audubon to promote conservation ranching is an exciting opportunity to help educate the public about what we are doing to improve prairie ecosystems that are critical to many species of birds and other wildlife. "
Jay and Linda Butler-Owner Operators of the over 100 year old Pronghorn Ranch
When used as a creative land management tool — with the added benefit of producing food — our cattle can help sequester carbon, reduce fire fuels, and restore wildlife habitats. Whats good for the bird is good for the herd!
Audubon & Ranchers: A Shared Vision
Audubon is working on a market based, value added program that will benefit ranchers in the Northern Great Plains . Also, Audubon is helping individual ranchers improve sustainability of their grazing practices to directly access premiums for grassland habitat stewardship. Grassland birds and ranchers stand to benefit from this win-win, because after all, where birds thrive, people can prosper.
Audubon is working to:
• Create a decision support tool for bird-friendly land management practices
• Host regional rancher workshops to share and encourage uptake of bird-friendly land management practices
• Create premium beef market opportunities to reward bird-friendly land management practices
Since 2009 we have:
- Certified13 ranches across the great plains representing over 200,000 acres
- Hired staff who brings enormous experience in the beef industry
- Conducted over 10 landowner workshops with local ranchers to listen to their needs.
- Recognized innovators through state-level and national conservation award programs for beef producers
- Completed 38 birds surveys on 20 ranches cooperating voluntarily in the NGP, to for the values of rancher managed grasslands
- Held listening sessions with ranchers in three key geographies.
- Awarded small grants for capacity building to grazing associations and other rancher groups
If you are a consumer interested in buying beef raised on Audubon Certified Ranches, CLICK HERE , If you are a rancher CLICK HERE, or a retailer CLICK HERE interested in getting involved, please contact: Alison Holloran, Executive Director, or Dusty Downey Conservation Ranching Program
Or to Contact Audubon Rockies office you can call us at 970-416-6931
Thank you to the USDA NRCS