Greater Sage-Grouse and cow on land managed by Pathfinder Ranches in Natrona County, Wyoming.
Greater Sage-Grouse and cow on land managed by Pathfinder Ranches in Natrona County, Wyoming.
Conservation

Conservation Ranching Initiative

Conserving and reviving rangelands with bird-friendly grazing
Greater Sage-Grouse and cow on land managed by Pathfinder Ranches in Natrona County, Wyoming. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Greater Sage-Grouse and cow on land managed by Pathfinder Ranches in Natrona County, Wyoming. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Conservation

Conservation Ranching Initiative

Conserving and reviving rangelands with bird-friendly grazing
Help Grassland Birds

Buy Beef from Audubon-Certified Lands

Beef from Audubon-certified land comes from ranches that protect grassland bird habitat. It's also antibiotic-free, ethically raised, and delicious.

North America's grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in the world. America’s grassland birds have declined more than any other bird group in the continent, some species by as much as 80 percent. Because the vast majority breed on private lands, working with ranchers is our best hope for conserving them. Audubon's Conservation Ranching Initiative seeks to enhance biodiversity through our certification, technical assistance, and habitat management on working ranches. 

Benefits to Birds 

To save rangeland birds, we’re enlisting and assisting America’s ranchers—the stewards of our remaining grassland landscapes—in implementing conservation ranching practices on millions acres. We’re working with them to develop Habitat Management Plans that implement regenerative grazing and other bird conservation practices, such as controlling invasive species and native plant seeding. 

By mimicking America’s historic bison herds, regenerative grazing invigorates diverse plant communities and supports nutrient cycles that rebuild soil and conserve water. It even has potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere and add enormous amounts of carbon to soil organic matter.  We measure the effectiveness of these practices by monitoring bird diversity and abundance, vegetation change, and soil health.

Benefits to Consumers

Meat from Audubon-certified land is hormone and antibiotic-free, ethically raised, and delicious. Supporting Audubon-certified ranches is better for rangeland birds and better for the land. Our certification seal can be found on high quality meat products and empowers consumers to support ranches that benefit grassland birds and their habitat.

Benefits to Ranchers

Audubon's certification can add value to meat products and provides a unique opportunity for ranchers to showcase their excellent management practices. This helps them care for their families and provides exceptional habitat for wildlife. By first listening to the ranching community, trusting in their knowledge of sustainable land management, and learning from their resiliency in a volatile marketplace, we are ensuring that our strategies and solutions will benefit both people and nature. Buying beef from Audubon-certified lands supports rural economies and the ranching way of life.

We thank the NRCS USDA for their support.

 

 

Ranch Profiles

News and Stories

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Now Listed Under the Endangered Species Act
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Now Listed Under the Endangered Species Act

The Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision presents an opportunity to protect the bird while bolstering rural economies.

Soil Restoration at Rafter W Ranch
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Soil Restoration at Rafter W Ranch

Enhancing soil health to increase drought resilience.

Habitat Management Assistance for Western Wyoming Ranchers
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Habitat Management Assistance for Western Wyoming Ranchers

Audubon Rockies receives grant to expand Conservation Ranching Initiative.

Eagle Ridge Ranch
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Eagle Ridge Ranch

Adapting to drought on an Audubon-certified ranch in Wyoming.

Birds and Beef: A Symbiotic Relationship
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Birds and Beef: A Symbiotic Relationship

Learn more about Audubon's conservation ranching partnerships in this story from the Western Livestock Journal.

May Ranch 2021 Leopold Conservation Award Video
Conservation Ranching Initiative

May Ranch 2021 Leopold Conservation Award Video

Watch this video about the conservation ethic behind the Audubon-certified May Ranch.

Curlews, Ranching, and Reconsideration
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Curlews, Ranching, and Reconsideration

A Wyoming rancher discusses the surprising benefits of an alternative form of grazing.

May Ranch Receives Colorado Leopold Conservation Award
Conservation Ranching Initiative

May Ranch Receives Colorado Leopold Conservation Award

Audubon-certified ranch recognized for inspiring conservation practices.

Reconciling Ranching and Conservation
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Reconciling Ranching and Conservation

A rancher reflects upon the potential for holistic grazing to complement conservation.

Related

Conservation Ranching for Consumers
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Conservation Ranching for Consumers

Not all beef is the same. See what sets beef raised on Audubon-certified ranches apart from the herd.

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Conservation Ranching for Retailers
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Conservation Ranching for Retailers

Demand for sustainable beef is growing. Audubon has a large and loyal consumer base that will buy beef from Audubon-certified lands, even if it costs more.

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Conservation Ranching for Ranchers
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Conservation Ranching for Ranchers

Beef from Audubon-certified lands garners a premium price on your product, helping you care for your family and your land.

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How you can help, right now