Did you know that native grasslands are the least conserved and most altered landscapes on earth? Once home to legions of bison, prairie dogs, elk and grassland birds, the vast prairie to which early settlers flocked has been dramatically altered over the past 150 years.
The Central Great Plains Grasslands is focused on the following conservation priorities within two key regions of the larger American prairies:
- Work with oil and gas energy industry leaders to minimize impacts by developing new siting tools and improve reclamation practices.
- Collaborate with policy makers, agency staff and landowner groups to reduce destruction of native grasslands.
- Minimize impacts of commercial wind energy development on wildlife and their habitats by encouraging appropriate siting and mitigation.
- Facilitate the widespread use of prescribed fire as a tool to improve grassland health and grazing production.
Latest News & Updates
The Nature Conservancy recently launched the 'Site Wind Right' campaign to inform power purchasers about geographic areas within the Central Great Plains Grasslands project boundaries where development of wind energy may proceed without negative impacts to wildlife.
There are a number of barriers for landowners wanting to conduct prescribed burns on their property. Some lack equipment and training, while others are riddled with fear about the risk of liability. However, recent efforts by the Conservancy and its partners, especially Oklahoma Trustee Leslie Kutz, have paved the way for more fire on private lands via a prescribed burn liability insurance policy that is now available nationwide! With an approved burn plan, a landowner can now purchase liability coverage for up to two prescribed burns per year. This accomplishment enables the CGPGI team to maximize results for one of the initiative’s strategic priorities: expanding the use of fire across the Central Great Plans Grasslands project area!
Grasslands Initiative selected for Regional Conservation Partnership Program
The Nature Conservancy was the lead applicant in a successful proposal to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service that will bring $3.6 million directly to landowners within the Western Zone of the Central Great Plains Grasslands Initiative. Over the five-year project, the funds will support efforts removing cedar trees, controlling other invasive species, conservation easements, and conducting controlled fires to enhance habitat on grazing lands.