Working lands represent one of the best hopes for conservation. These parcels of forests, ranches, and farms add up to roughly a billion acres—or about half the land in the entire Lower 48 states. Audubon collaborates with landowners, land managers, government agencies, and private industry across the hemisphere to increase the quality of habitat on privately managed lands to benefit 20 flagship bird species. Audubon also helps landowners and land managers apply bird-friendly practices on their lands and develop market-based solutions to build economic incentives that have the potential to engage many more landowners. And Audubon works on federal policies that substantially influence the management of land to advance large-scale solutions that benefit both landowners and the environment.
The Farm Bill is an important vehicle for conservation on America's working lands. Click here to read more about Audubon's position on the 2018 Farm Bill. In it, we discuss Audubon's conservation priorities and highlight conservation programs that are supported by the Farm Bill.
Theory of Change
We will focus on four landscapes dominated by private lands and where birds and habitat are most threatened: California’s Central Valley; the sagebrush ecosystem of the interior West; North American grasslands, including the Chihuahuan Desert; and eastern forests. Audubon will help landowners and land managers apply bird-friendly practices, and drive market-based solutions that influence ecosystem health at scale.
How to Get There
- Develop market-based conservation solutions that help land managers increase the profitability of their lands as they adopt bird-friendly practices.
- Create land-management practices that target specific bird species and their habitat needs.
- Monitor and measure responses to these land-management practices to ensure the desired conservation outcomes are achieved.
- Collaborate with landowners to expand bird habitats, providing tools and technical assistance to adopt beneficial land practices.
- Through advocacy and partnering with agencies, increase government incentives for bird conservation on working lands.
- Increase conservation efforts on working lands throughout the Western Hemisphere by collaborating with local partners.
- Engage on a policy level around reauthorization of the U.S. farm bill to promote sound conservation policies and increase conservation funding.
- Increase or stabilize the populations of 20 flagship bird species by reducing threats in four priority landscapes, thus benefiting bird species throughout the Western Hemisphere.
- Continue Audubon’s leadership role with 11 states, multiple federal agencies, and thousands of private-sector stakeholders to implement Greater Sage-Grouse recovery plans. These plans will now cover 67 million acres; successful implementation will protect more than 350 additional species.
- Increase the acreage of working lands in bird-friendly management programs by 500,000 acres per year.
- Increase by 10 percent the amount of public and private funding available to private landowners to adopt bird-friendly land-management practices.
- Through active outreach and technical assistance, engage 10,000 land managers in bird-friendly land management.
Audubon Alaska is pursuing permanent wilderness designation for the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Full-lifecycle conservation for seven priority species along the Atlantic Flyway
Developing market-based management of dwindling prairie habitat that benefits birds and ranchers alike
California Working Lands
California’s Central Valley is one of this country’s most important food-producing areas, and a critical habitat for many birds
Video: Watch (and Hear) Two Bitterns Getting Weird in a Rice Field
By Jillian Mock
Mindful conservation on California rice farms creates homes for wetland birds, while also providing a rare chance to study them.
Celebrating Sagebrush: The West's Most Important Native Plant
By Daly Edmunds and Hannah Nikonow
Covering 165 million acres across 14 states, sagebrush country is home to more wildlife—and people—than you might realize.
In Mexico, Grassland Birds and Ranching Can Coexist — with Mauricio de la Maza
By The Editors
"That’s how everything kind of melds together: birds, habitat, water, the people, and economics."
What in the World is Conservation Ranching?
By Leslie Nemo
Your guide to Audubon's program to make cattle ranching prairie- and bird-friendly
For Consumers and Conservationists: FAQs on Conservation Ranching
By National Audubon Society
Learn more about what conservation ranching is, and why it can be good for birds and the environment
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