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Wednesday, June 5 • 11:30am - 11:55am
Audubon Society Conservation Ranching Program LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Native grasslands are among the most altered and imperiled ecosystems in the world. These ecosystems are dwindling at an alarming rate as tracts are degraded through poor grazing practices, invasive and woody plant encroachment, and conversion to cropland or other development. Birds are an important indicator of overall ecosystem health, and population trends confirm that our grasslands are in crisis. Grassland obligate birds have declined more severely than any other suite of North American birds. Population estimates for 24 species have decreased by more than 40% since 1968. These grasslands also support ranchers and their families, local communities, and regional agricultural economies. Narrow profit margins and increasing costs have forced many ranchers to adopt management practices that are incompatible with the habitat needs for birds. Scalable grassland conservation strategies are needed to meet the needs of the people, communities, and wildlife.

Since 2014, Audubon has worked with beef producers, state and federal agency partners, industry experts, and others to bring about an innovative, producer-centered, market-based certification program. We have helped local ranching communities conserve high quality grassland habitats, and regenerate those that are degraded. The ACR program is now well established in Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. We have partnerships with 44 restaurants, retailers, and institutions that buy beef produced on ACR-certified ranches. As of February 2019, there are 799,244 acres of private ranchlands currently enrolled in the program at various stages of the onboarding process, including 492,444 acres fully certified.


Thomas Schroeder

National Audubon Society

Wednesday June 5, 2019 11:30am - 11:55am CDT
Room 1510, The Garden Room