CEC-supported conservation ranching case studies now available online

New case studies showcase innovative ways to conserve and restore native grasslands

Montreal, 12 May 2016—The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has published new case studies via its Grasslands Beneficial Management Practices Online Tool that offer tangible solutions to the challenge of conserving native grasslands while sustaining ranchers’ livelihoods.

The North American grasslands are the only shared, contiguous terrestrial ecoregion extending from Canada through the United States and on to Mexico. It may be hard to imagine that a ranch in the arid grasslands of northern Mexico would have much in common with a counterpart in the lush, tallgrass prairie of Kansas, or the fertile, mixed-grass prairie of central Alberta.

But when 20 ranches from across North America participated in a CEC pilot project to demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of conservation ranching, it became clear that they had much in common, including attributes such as responsible stewardship, resilience and innovation.

Under the CEC’s Catalyzing North American Grasslands Conservation and Sustainable Use Through Partnerships project, 20 ranches across North America implemented beneficial management practices in partnership with the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association, Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition, IMC-Vida Silvestre, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua and Bird Conservancy of the Rockies.

Beneficial management practices, such as the use of effective rest periods after grazing, rotational grazing practices, and removal of invasive plant species, offer tangible solutions to support ranching on natural grasslands as a key strategy to conserve this vital, shared North American ecoregion.

Pilot project case studies are now available on the Grasslands Beneficial Management Practices Online Tool, accessible through an interactive map and a site list.

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North American Grasslands