ACR in the News: Montana Ranchers Forge Sustainable Alliances | Montana Audubon

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ACR in the News: Montana Ranchers Forge Sustainable Alliances

On January 28, 2024, PBS News Weekend aired a segment titled ‘Preserving Prairies,’ produced by Stan Parker with Montana PBS. The segment features local Montana ranchers who are partnering with national and state conservation groups, including Montana Audubon and the Audubon Conservation Ranching (ACR) program, to achieve common goals of protecting and improving critically threatened grassland habitats for the benefit of the people, livestock, and wildlife that depend upon them. 

Watch the segment here: 


One of the ranchers featured in the segment is Bill Milton, whose ranch near Roundup, MT, was ACR certified in 2021. ACR and the Milton Ranch were featured in Montana Audubon’s Spring 2023 newsletter. 

“Five, ten years ago, Audubon working directly with ranchers would have been a stretch. So, there’s been some respect developed. Audubon, through this program [ACR], has demonstrated a sincere interest in protecting the integrity of working ranches as a means to protect grassland habitats and the birds that depend on them. So, we move at the speed of trust, and I think Audubon is building trust with the ranching community,” said Milton in the article.

Later, he continued, “We tend to develop partnerships with NGOs a little ahead of the locals. I think we ranchers, working with groups like Audubon, are showing the rest of the industry that we can meet climate objectives and still have working lands that support a great suite of wildlife. We’re still raising livestock, hiring people, paying taxes, supporting schools, and contributing to rural communities. We can do all of that and protect these large unfragmented landscapes we are blessed with here in Central Montana. That is a wonderful thing.”


Learn more about Montana Audubon’s Audubon Conservation Ranching program on our website, and read updates on specific project initiatives in these recent posts: 


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