30,000 acres of working ND land subject of conservation efforts meant to help wildlife, people

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 12:38 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Prairie Pothole Region spanning North Dakota is the core of what was once the largest expanse of grassland in the world. It supports the breeding of significant populations of waterfowl.

The area is set to transform over the next three years with on-the-ground conservation projects led by Ducks Unlimited and Trout Unlimited, supported by $150,000 from Tractor Supply Co.

“Cleaner water, cleaner air, grasslands, wetlands, waterfowl, other wildlife. It’s for everybody,” said Tanner Gue, manager of conservation programs for North Dakota.

The project will cover 30,000 acres of private, working land in North Dakota.

“For our company, North Dakota is a part of our origin story. So, it’s important that we as a company honor our history and the region of the world that’s so unique and has a unique story of its own of all the people that live there and work the land and are continuing to contribute to North Dakota’s progress,” said Roian Atwood, senior director of sustainability for Tractor Supply Company.

Conservationists say they’ll reduce tillage, plant diverse cover crops, and manage grazing practices.

They say these practices help ground nesting birds, produce cleaner water for people, help environments resist drought, and can also keep land productive for farmers and ranchers.

“To help them more effectively manage their resources, for their herd, or their crop, or their soils, or their water, but in doing that, in helping people be more efficient in their operational goals, we are also facilitating grassland and wetland habit conservation,” said Gue.

Work will begin this year.

Over the next three years, the groups will also be working to support wetlands along the Texas Gulf Coast.

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