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Burrowing owl flying

Meadowlark Initiative - Societal Benefits

Food Security

Much of North America's food supply depends grasslands and our rural farming and ranching communities.

The Meadowlark Initiative seeks to support both the grasslands and producers via financial and management assistance programs.

Farm equipment working in field

Pollinator Populations

Grasslands provide critical habitat for pollinators. It is estimated that 1 in 3 bites of the food we consume is dependent upon pollinators and pollinator populations are in decline across the world.

Helping producers establish healthy grasslands will help pollinators now and into the future.

Wasp on flower

Water Quality

Grasslands contribute to improved water conditions by filtering water, recharging aquifers, retaining water in the soil and slowing water movement which helps control flooding.

Initiative partners offer many water quality programs.

Wetland in prairie

Grasslands and Grazing

Historically, grasslands were maintained by relatively frequent wildfires and grazing animals such as bison that removed encroaching woody vegetation and rejuvenated grass ecosystems.

Today cattle serve that function, keeping grasslands in a state usable by grassland dependent birds and other wildlife.

Grazing system and infrastructure programs help producers maintain this delicate balance.

Cattle in a grassland

Climate Stability

Grasslands store significant amounts of carbon in their soils and roots thus impacting climate.

Rangeland management practices can make a difference in the levels of carbon sequestration (long-term capture and storage of carbon).

Initiative partners offer programs and assistance to help ranchers get the most out of the land while protecting grassland functions.

Clouds over prairie


Grasslands are home to a vast variety of wildlife, fish and insects making them an amazing place to participate in activities such as hunting, fishing, camping, wildlife watching and hiking.

Programs to promote healthy grasslands benefit not just wildlife but all those who use and enjoy the outdoors.

Sharptail displaying

Chestnut-collared longspur singing


USDA-NRCS ND Game and Fish Dept. US Fish and Wildlife Service ND Natural Resources Trust Audubon Dakota The Nature Conservancy Ducks Unlimited Pheasants Forever The Mule Deer Foundation Delta Waterfowl ND Grazing Lands Coalition Northern Great Plains Joint Venture Ecological Insights • World Wildlife Fund • Millborn Seeds Xerces SocietyNorth American Grouse Partnership

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