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.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations
The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.