Conservation Ranching | Montana Audubon

Birds & Science

We use the best available science to ensure the survival of Montana's birds and other wildlife.


Conservation Ranching

Conserving and reviving rangelands with bird-friendly grazing

North America’s grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in the world. Consequently, America’s grassland birds have declined more than any other bird group in the continent, some species by as much as 80%. Because the vast majority of America’s grassland birds breed on private lands, working with ranchers is our best hope for conserving them.

Benefits to Birds

To save grassland birds, National Audubon is enlisting and assisting America’s ranchers—the stewards of our remaining grassland landscapes—in implementing conservation ranching practices hundreds of thousands of acres across the U.S. Here in Montana, Montana Audubon is working with ranchers all across our state to develop Habitat Management Plans that implement regenerative grazing and other bird conservation practices, such as controlling invasive species and native plant seeding.

By mimicking America’s historic bison herds, regenerative grazing invigorates diverse plant communities and supports nutrient cycles that rebuild soil and conserve water. It even has the potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere and add enormous amounts of carbon to soil organic matter.  We measure the effectiveness of these practices by monitoring bird diversity and abundance, vegetation change, and soil health.

Benefits to Consumers

Beef from Audubon-certified land is hormone and antibiotic-free, ethically raised, and delicious. Supporting Audubon-certified ranches is better for grassland birds, better for the land, and better for you. Our certification seal can be found on high quality meat products and empowers consumers to support ranches that benefit grassland birds and their habitat.

Map of US lower 48 showing states & locations of ACR retailers. Screenshot from National Audubon website- click on link to visit page.

Use this map to find retailers—ranches, butcher shops, grocers, and online shops—to purchase beef and bison raised on Audubon Certified bird-friendly land.

Benefits to Ranchers

Beef from Audubon-certified lands garners a premium price and provides a unique opportunity for ranchers to showcase their excellent management practices. This helps them care for their families and provides exceptional habitat for wildlife. By first listening to the ranching community, trusting in their knowledge of sustainable land management, and learning from their resiliency in a volatile marketplace, we are ensuring that our strategies and solutions will benefit both people and nature. Buying beef from Audubon-certified lands supports rural economies and the ranching way of life.

Rancher FAQ's

Learn more about what conservation ranching means for ranchers.

Consumer and Conservationist FAQ's

Learn more about what conservation ranching is, and why it can be good for birds and the environment

How To Get Involved

The Audubon certification seal brings a broad market appeal that enhances demand by consumers that want options for beef that is sustainably raised and benefits wildlife habitat.

For Retailers and Institutions

Learn why you should carry products that meet the desires of your eco-conscious customers.

How To Purchase

News & Stories

Current news and stories about Audubon Conservation Ranching

Join Our Online Network

By joining our online network, you will receive timely conservation updates, action alerts, legislative news, our monthly eNews, information about upcoming events and more.

Make an Online Donation & Support Our Efforts

Montana Audubon depends on your financial support to continue our ambitious conservation work around the state.

Take Action

Take action on timely conservation issues Montana Audubon is engaged with. Your help will protect Montana’s birds and other wildlife into the future.

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