Western Kingbird’s Flourish on Paul Family Ranch
Audubon Conservation Ranching (ACR) program is the cornerstone of the organization’s Working Lands Initiative and functions as a market-based conservation approach offering incentives for good grassland stewardship and “bird friendly” management practices through a certification label on beef products. The program has evolved through a collaborative effort between beef producers, state and federal agency partners, industry experts, and other NGOs into a producer-centered strategy to address today’s grassland conservation challenges. Audubon initiated the ACR program after local ranchers shared their concerns regarding the challenges they face related to grassland management and sustainability – generational dropout, market complexities, and lack of scientific rigor in tracking change at the ranch, regional, and landscape scales.
Audubon is fostering connections with market partners who have committed to stocking beef raised on Audubon Certified Bird Friendly Land. These markets will provide ranchers with a mechanism through which beef produced by ecologically-sustainable management practices garner a premium price. Additionally, the ACR program allows consumers to participate in conservation efforts that keep ranchers on the land and create healthy habitats for declining grassland wildlife species.