The North Dakota Conservation Forage Program (CFP) launched in the spring of 2021 supported by a $6.9 million North Dakota Industrial Commission Outdoor Heritage Fund grant, the largest awarded by the Commission. The CFP will support private landowners in converting up to 18,000 acres of cropland back to native grass while facilitating the adoption of
USDA updated Conservation Reserve Program rental rates on January 31st, 2022. Now is the time to contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or Pheasants Forever Habitat Advisor to learn about the multiple options available to increase the profitability of your marginal cropland while improving water quality, reducing soil erosion, and creating wildlife habitat
For hundreds of years, buffalo grazed the Northern Great Plains, moving from location to location to mob graze without returning for an extended period of time. Today, grassland managers are working to replicate this natural cycle to promote soil health. The integration of livestock onto these working lands through regenerative practices improves soil health, increases
Throughout the PPJV, retirements of the “boomer generation” have left behind big losses in capabilities. With an eye on the future, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) filled five vacated positions with talented early-career Research Scientists. Each of these scientists served as Post-Doctoral researchers at NPWRC before they were hired in
Providing livestock with consistent water is often one of the biggest challenges faced by ranchers in the West. Opportunities to do so are thin on the ground and become even thinner throughout the summer, especially in a drought year like the one experienced in north-central Montana in 2021. Tyrel Obrecht, who operates the Louie Petrie
Increased soil health in the Prairie Pothole Region enhances the management of water in a landscape that is prone to both drought and flooding. Promoting practices that benefit soil health (e.g., increased perennial species, reduced tillage, increased crop diversity, cover crop utilization, and livestock integration) increases diversity on the landscape, reduces crop input requirements like
There is an increasing number of wind farm proposals and projects under construction in east and central Montana. In the state, we have an abundance of wildlife resources that are critical to the high quality of life (and state revenue) for residents and visitors. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) is the state agency charged
Given the federal administration’s current focus on tackling the climate crisis through development of clean energy technology instead of high-carbon investments, the number of new wind and solar facilities across the Prairie Pothole Region is likely to increase in the near future. However, these types of facilities have large land footprints, and information about potential
Wind farms are increasingly common across the landscape as society moves toward renewable sources of energy. As of October 2018, almost 27,000 turbines have been erected in the 48 contiguous US states, with the majority located in the Great Plains and upper Midwest. Many thousands of additional turbines are planned to be erected in coming
Wind energy is a valuable and growing sector of renewable energy throughout the Great Plains that provides important environmental benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Despite these benefits, there is the potential for direct, negative effects to birds and other wildlife from collisions with turbines. Perhaps more importantly for many birds, indirect
Volunteer fence maintenance a win-win for landowners, big game, at Woody Island Pronghorn Migration Fence Modification Workshop
This summer, an effort between conservation organizations and Blaine County ranchers at the Louie Petrie Ranch north of Turner, Montana offered two days of hands-on learning, practical ranch work, and collaboration to benefit ranching and pronghorn migration in the region.
Rangelands are being lost at an alarming rate – more than a million acres lost annually. Grazing by livestock is the common thread that maintains these working rangelands at an ecosystem scale. As a result, successful conservation relies on working with landowners and ranchers to improve working rangelands to benefit wildlife and the communities that rely on this land and have stewarded them for generations.