Wes Olson: The Ecological Buffalo A book talk. Based on Wes’s 35 years of working intimately with bison — and featuring Johane’s stunning photography — The Ecological Buffalo takes a journey through the myriad connections this keystone species has with the Great Plains.
A study published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution found that widespread restoration of bison to Tribal lands throughout the Northern Great Plains can help restore the prairie ecosystem while improving the long-running issue of food insecurity and food sovereignty for Native Nations, and may help to mitigate adverse impacts to traditional agricultural systems due to climate change.
A new study published in Scientific Reports has revealed the strongest evidence to date that all bison in North America carry multiple small, but clearly identifiable, regions of DNA that
originated from domestic cattle.
A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution finds that widespread restoration of bison to Tribal lands throughout the Northern Great Plains can help restore the prairie ecosystem while improving the long-running issue of food insecurity and food sovereignty for Native Nations, and may help to mitigate adverse impacts to traditional agricultural systems due to climate change.
What America Lost When it Lost Its Bison – The Atlantic (2019)
Bringing Bison Back to the Badlands – A PERC Case Study
Wild bison as ecological indicators of the effectiveness of management practices to increase forage quality on open rangeland Dustin H. Ranglacka, Johan T. du Toitb
Information on Bison and Brucellosis from Enhancing Montana’s Wildlife and Habitat website
Bison Conservation Management: Guidelines for Herd Managers
Prairie Dogs and Ferrets
(New) Prairie Dog Action Packet: this document offers resources for advocates who want to help protect prairie dog colonies under threat.
(New) Creating Prairie Dog Management Plans: A Guide for Local Governments and Stakeholders: this document offers background and resources for communities that want to protect prairie dogs via the creation of humane management plans
National Public Radio story on reestablishing Black Footed Ferrets in Montana
Large Landscape Level Conservation Projects
North Central Climate Adaptation Science Centre has released two new reports (May 2023) as part of the Grasslands Synthesis Project. Synthesis of Climate and Ecological Science to Support Grassland Management Priorities in the North Central Region and Grassland Management Priorities. The findings and next steps webinar is available here.
The report “American Prairie Reserve: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation through Large-Scale Grassland Conservation” discusses the effects of climate change on grassland ecosystems and the effect of land use in the Great Plains on green house gas emissions.
Wind Development and Low-Impact Areas to Wildlife, a 2012 report by The Nature Conservancy and WWF
An Ecological Risk Assessment of Wind Energy Development in Montana, 2009 study by The Nature Conservancy
Colorado’s Conservation Data Explorer (CODEX) — a one stop shop for synthesizing conservation data from the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, US Fish and WIldlife, NatureServe and many other sources.
Great Plains Grassland Initiative on Cattlemen to Cattlemen show, the show explains why woody encroachment is such a detriment to grasslands, what ranchers and the NRCS are doing to combat this major threat, and why fighting back against invading trees is important to ranchers, wildlife, and anyone who appreciates the Great Plains grasslands.
WWF’s Riverine Analysis identifies riverine conservation priority areas for the US portion of the Northern Great Plains
New collaborative publication by Plantlife, Equilibrium Research, and WWF just released at COP28 “Integrating Grasslands and Savannahs into National Biodiversity and Climate Committments.”
Bringing Back America’s Serengeti – Rewilding Earth (2019)
American Serengeti, by Dan Flores – University Press of Kansas
Trees Are Overrated – The Atlantic (2022)
Carbon Sequestration and Climate Change
The Southern Plains Land Trust has enrolled their two largest preserves in the Climate Action Reserve’s Grassland Protocol.
The Southern Plains Land Trust is using Grassland Carbon to Benefit Prairie Wildlife Refuges.
Conferences and other proceedings
Transboundary Grassland Partnership–Global Vision, Local Action. October 19-21, 2021 (Northern Great Plains) — if you missed this workshop, most presentations were recorded and are at: Transboundary Grassland Partnership
Panel discussion on Grasslands and Savannahs at COP on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 Article and recording of the event available here.
Links to Other Great Plains Conservation Organizations
Alberta’s Prairie Conservation Forum provides an excellent collection of resources and links to organizations in that province. The Prairie Conservation Action Plan serves the same purpose in Saskatchewan. Check their site for a wide range of contacts.