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Sustaining Bird Habitats & Rural Communities

Resilient Grasslands

Resilient grasslands support vibrant ranching communities, robust grassland bird populations, and sustainable ecosystem services.

photo by Mitch Kezar

Our Region

The Northern Great Plains is a broad expanse of rolling plains and grasslands covered primarily by mixed-grass prairie and sagebrush-steppe. The NGPJV works across portions of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
NGPJV Boundary Map

conservation across the plains

The Northern Great Plains supports the largest expanse of core breeding habitat for five of the most imperiled grassland birds.
The NGPJV supports and catalyzes conservation that works for birds and the people of the Northern Great Plains across all land ownerships and cultures.
NGPJV partners take actions that improve the health of the land by using science to direct the right conservation tools to the right time and place.
We support locally-led collaboratives that champion local sustainability and vibrant communities in the Northern Great Plains. Our local partners provide guidance on place-based conservation tools, challenges, and outcomes.

Long-billed Curlew by Ron R Bielefeld

Protecting and restoring America’s grasslands is essential to advancing nature-based solutions for sequestering carbon into the soil; securing and improving wildlife habitat; reducing the impacts of climate change; and improving landscape resilience while supporting Native nations, ranchers, farmers, sportsmen and -women, and rural communities. The World Wildlife Fund’s 2023 Plowprint report shows a loss of 1.6 million acres of grassland habitat in the Great Plains of the United States and Canada in 2021 – acres plowed up primarily for row crop agriculture. For the NGPJV region, the loss is about 120,000 acres. In total, 32 million acres have fallen to the plow since 2012. Read the report to learn more about the state of grasslands across the Great Plains and the opportunities that WWF has identified as offering the most promise for the future of this irreplaceable landscape.

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Recent News

Reconnecting America’s Grasslands

On a cool, rainy day in August, roughly 300 people from across the continent converged in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Crow, and Shoshone people, to attend the 6th Biennial America’s Grassland Conference. Hosted by the National Wildlife Federation and the University of Wyoming, the conference emphasized connecting both people and

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WWF Ranch Systems and Viability Planning Network (RSVP) Summary

RSVP Overview and Enrollment: World Wildlife Fund’s Ranch Systems and Viability Planning Network (RSVP) takes a community-based approach to preserving the open space, ecological integrity, and community livelihoods of the Northern Great Plains (NGP) ecosystem. By centering the goals of individual ranchers and local communities which own and manage over 70% of the NGP, WWF

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