by Tammy Vercauteren, Executive Director, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
The Central Grasslands Roadmap is a collaborative effort to increase conservation of North America’s Central Grasslands, which span more than 600 million acres across Canada, the United States and Mexico. This area includes more than 20 million acres of Indigenous lands and is primarily privately-owned lands in the United States. By bringing together three countries and eight diverse sectors, (Indigenous/First Nations, Federal agencies, provincial and state-level agencies, private sector and industry, private landowners and operators, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and foundation funders), the Roadmap collectively identifies collaborative priorities that allow the sectors to move together towards a clear destination over the next 10 years. Those engaged in the roadmap process share a commitment to these goals including measuring collaborative progress to ensure resilient grasslands for the future of both people and nature.
The diverse perspectives engaged in the Central Grasslands Roadmap process believe policies should be informed by science (both social and biological); promote outcome-based conservation and local flexibility; and engage community stakeholders (including owners and stewards of land and water) in designing strategies and programs to secure the wildlife, natural resources, and agricultural production of the Great Plains for future generations. Conservation strategies and policies should honor and reflect Native nation sovereignty; traditional knowledge and cultural values; self-determination and food sovereignty; private property rights; and the history and resilience of multi-generational landowner families and agricultural and rural communities. See the one page summary of the Roadmap to learn more.