Newsletters

The PPJV publishes its e-newsletter "Pulse of the Prairies" a few times a year. If you are interested in prairie conservation, birds, science, or joint venture activities, please enter your email address in the "Newsletter Sign-up" box above.

News

Read news relevant to the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region from our partner organizations and the news media.

Video: Totton Ranch

Video: Totton Ranch

Charlie Totton switched to mob grazing after attending the South Dakota Grassland Coalition’s Grazing School to improve the health of his grasslands. This allows him to put his cattle on grass for 10 months of each year.

Video: Ritterberger Ranch

Video: Ritterberger Ranch

Bob and John Rittberger in Hermosa, South Dakota keep the soil healthy on their ranch and leased lands by mimicking the grazing of bison; they rotate their cattle through many pastures throughout the year.

Video: Ausland Family Ranch

Video: Ausland Family Ranch

The Auslands manage for grass first on their family ranch in Webster, South Dakota. This produces healthy grasslands, thriving wildlife and productive cattle.

Video: Cammack Family Ranch

Video: Cammack Family Ranch

Gary and Amy Cammack purchased their ranch in 1984 and have planted 30,000 trees. Along with raising cattle, they enjoy the wildlife - mule deer, white-tailed deer, bobcats, fox, and hundreds of species of birds.

Video: Limpert Family Ranch

Video: Limpert Family Ranch

The Limperts made the switch from cattle and sheep to bison and never looked back. Pasture management classes helped get them started using holistic management techniques and their grasslands are healthier than ever.

Video: Schmidt Family Ranch

Video: Schmidt Family Ranch

The Schmidts of Keldon, South Dakota use rotational grazing and holistic management on their ranch to improve and utilize the grasslands and sustain their cattle operation.

Counting the costs: Land-use decisions are increasingly driven by science

Counting the costs: Land-use decisions are increasingly driven by science

Science and technology continues to give farmers and ranchers tools to enhance productivity and sustainability, while reducing erosion and improving soil—winning concepts all the way around.

Video: Conner Ranch

Video: Conner Ranch

At their ranch in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, Dan and Cindi Conner are protecting sage grouse. Using rotational grazing, they strive to improve the quality of their grasslands for grouse, other wildlife and their livestock.

Video: Carmichael Family Ranch

Video: Carmichael Family Ranch

Working with nature, instead of against it, the Carmichaels run an profitable ranch while improving the soil and the grass.

Video: Brown Ranch

Video: Brown Ranch

After attending the South Dakota Grazing School, Jody and JoAnn Brown changed how they managed their ranch, adopting rotational grazing and other practices to dramatically improve soil health and the grasslands.

Video: The Importance of Grasslands

Video: The Importance of Grasslands

Tracy Rosenberg discusses having a permanent grassland easement on undisturbed prairie. “This is what we have in North American that matters…it is equal in importance to the rainforest or to the boreal forest.”

Video: Buffalo on the Brownotter Ranch

Video: Buffalo on the Brownotter Ranch

Ron and Carol Brownotter raise buffalo on native grasses to keep grasslands healthy; support their community, family and reservation; and make a living. NRCS programs help them improve their ranch.

Data Cause Alarm in Wetland Farming Rule Changes

Data Cause Alarm in Wetland Farming Rule Changes

The Department of Agriculture is about to modernize its rules for discouraging farmers from planting on wetlands. But to decide what’s a wetland, it’s sticking to rainfall records that are nearly 20 years old.

That’s one wrinkle in USDA’s proposed changes to wetland determinations, which the agency says are minor adjustments but some environmental groups say could result in wetland losses in sensitive areas such as the “prairie pothole” region.

How Prairie Birds Found an Unexpected Group of Heroes in Hunters

How Prairie Birds Found an Unexpected Group of Heroes in Hunters

As critical habitat disappears, imperiled grassland species are finding refuge on land preserved for an exotic pheasant.

Video: Triple 7 Bison Ranch

Video: Triple 7 Bison Ranch

To Mimi Hillenbrand, it isn’t just about raising bison and being profitable, it’s about taking care of the wildlife, the plants, the soil, the people who work at the ranch and the communities nearby.

Video: Livermont Ranch

Video: Livermont Ranch

Rotational grazing was a tool that Steve Livermont didn’t know existed 20 years ago. Now, he tries to tell everyone he meets about how good it is for cow-calf operations and for grasslands.

Tour shows policymakers the importance of grazing and grasslands

Tour shows policymakers the importance of grazing and grasslands

By Jenny Schlecht for Agweek, 9/3/18. WING, N.D. — Standing in a pasture west of Wing, N.D., Darrell Oswald explained the benefits of farming and ranching in northeastern Burleigh County.

Video: Lockner Ranch

Video: Lockner Ranch

Dean and Candice Lockner planted a wide variety of grasses to restore their grasslands, which paid off in improvements in soil health, wildlife diversity, pollinator habitat and healthy cattle.

Video: Managing Grasslands on the Anderson Ranch

Video: Managing Grasslands on the Anderson Ranch

At the Anderson ranch in Meadow, South Dakota careful grassland management assures healthy cattle, sheep, and grass.

Delta Waterfowl’s John Devney Named to Hunting & Shooting Sports Conservation Council

Delta Waterfowl’s John Devney Named to Hunting & Shooting Sports Conservation Council

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the appointment of John Devney, senior vice president of Delta Waterfowl, to the newly formed Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council.

Video: The Hamann Family's Blue Bell Ranch

Video: The Hamann Family's Blue Bell Ranch

Put out the right amount of cattle at the right time, avoid overgrazing at all costs, and never fight Mother Nature - Herb Hamann’s guiding principles on the Blue Bell Ranch.

How to Improve Habitat Conservation for Migrating Cranes

How to Improve Habitat Conservation for Migrating Cranes

Researchers have created a model of Whooping Crane habitat use with the potential to greatly improve the targeting of conservation efforts during their migration.

Scientists Strategize to Help Protect Critically Endangered Whooping Cranes

Scientists Strategize to Help Protect Critically Endangered Whooping Cranes

To combat the threats whooping cranes face, researchers have developed a model of the birds’ habitat use that could improve conservation efforts during their migration.

Conservation Receives Key Funding in 2018 Omnibus

Conservation Receives Key Funding in 2018 Omnibus

Wetlands conservation gets an almost $2 million increase. On March 23, 2018 President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill funding the government through the remainder of fiscal year 2018.

Video: Schell Family Ranch

Video: Schell Family Ranch

The Schell family has used successful grassland management for their cow/calf operation despite the challenges they faced and surmounted during drought.

Video: Grim Ranch

Video: Grim Ranch

The Grim family’s use of prescribed fire as a management tool on their ranch is featured in April’s video for the Our Amazing Grasslands series.

Video: Michalski Ranch

Video: Michalski Ranch

“It’s not about how many cows you can graze on an acre of ground; it’s more about the health of the grass, the health of the soil, the sustainability of our resources…The health of our grassland is what enables us to produce the pounds of beef that we produce.”

Video: Jorgenson Partnership

Video: Jorgenson Partnership

“It’s our family’s goal to study and understand the native grasslands and try to get back all of our farm acres back to the mostnative state…The native grasslands teach us all about soil health.”

Pheasants Forever Hires Precision Agriculture Specialists in Minnesota and North Dakota

Pheasants Forever Hires Precision Agriculture Specialists in Minnesota and North Dakota

Pheasants Forever and its partners have expanded the organization’s Precision Agriculture Business Planning Initiative to Minnesota and North Dakota with the recent hiring of Precision Ag and Conservation Specialists, Jennifer Hahn and Melissa Shockman.

Sprague's Pipit Does Not Require Federal Protection

Sprague's Pipit Does Not Require Federal Protection

USFWS finds Sprague’s pipit does not require federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Bee and Butterfly Partnership Funded

Bee and Butterfly Partnership Funded

Pheasants Forever‘s Honey Bee & Monarch Butterfly Partnership receives funding from NRCS’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

Wild Bee Decline Threatens US Crop Production

Wild Bee Decline Threatens US Crop Production

A new study of wild bees identifies 139 counties nationwide, including much of the Prairie Pothole Region, that have the most worrisome mismatch between falling wild bee supply and rising crop pollination demand.

New Website Provides One-Stop for Landowners

New Website Provides One-Stop for Landowners

The newly developed Habitat Pays website is a resource for the farmers and ranchers of South Dakota, including a list of resources and a list of habitat advisors.

Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Federal Decisions

Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Federal Decisions

The Obama Administration released a memorandum directing federal agencies to factor the value of ecosystem services into planning and decision-making.

New Biological Assessment of Benefits of Conservation Reserve Program

New Biological Assessment of Benefits of Conservation Reserve Program

A research study produced by the PPJV and the USDA-Farm Service Agency reveals how to target CRP to maximize benefits for migratory birds.

Bird Partnership Workshop Recommendations Released

Bird Partnership Workshop Recommendations Released

The Bird Partnership Workshop brought together key personnel from the bird conservation community to discuss needs for promoting more effective coordination, collaboration, and integration of priorities and activities. The report from this workshop is now available.

National Strategy for Pollinators Released

National Strategy for Pollinators Released

In 2014, President Obama directed a new Task Force to develop a strategy for improving the health of honey bees and other pollinators.  This strategy was recently released.

NRCS Sets EQIP Funding Deadline

NRCS Sets EQIP Funding Deadline

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has set June 1 as the deadline for agricultural operators to be considered for 2016 Environmental Quality Incentives Program funding.

Farm Bill Field Guide Available

Farm Bill Field Guide Available

The 2014 Farm Bill Field Guide to Fish and Wildlife Conservation was prepared as an introduction for conservation professionals. The goal is to give them a tool to better understand the Farm Bill and how its programs can help landowners conserve fish and wildlife habitat.

Isolated Wetlands Significantly Impact Water Quality

Isolated Wetlands Significantly Impact Water Quality

Research published in Bioscience reveals that isolated wetlands significantly impact water quality, translating into negative implications for the wetland loss in the PPR.

Two Duck Stamp Bills Signed

Two Duck Stamp Bills Signed

Two duck stamp bills were signed into law, increasing the price of the duck stamp to $25 and allowing online purchase of duck stamps.

PPJV Factsheet Available

PPJV Factsheet Available

Want to share information about PPJV with others?

Fire on the Prairie

Fire on the Prairie

Learn why the Baird’s Sparrow range is contracting and what you can do (from Bird Watcher’s Digest).

Enhancing Pheasant Habitat with 8 Actions

Enhancing Pheasant Habitat with 8 Actions

Recommendations for enhancing pheasant habitat in South Dakota aim to address the declining populations in the state.

Status and Trends Report Released

Status and Trends Report Released

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a report showing an average annual net loss of 6,200 acres of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region from 1997-2009.

Northern Great Plains Grasslands Initiative, 2014 Request for Proposals

Northern Great Plains Grasslands Initiative, 2014 Request for Proposals

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals that will help secure, enhance, and restore native prairie and wildlife in the Northern Great Plains.

New Online Tool Corrals Best Practices to Sustain Grasslands and Ranchers

New Online Tool Corrals Best Practices to Sustain Grasslands and Ranchers

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) launches a new online tool featuring beneficial management practices from across the continent to maintain native grasslands and sustain ranchers’ livelihoods.

Wetland Grants Announced, Benefitting the PPR

Wetland Grants Announced, Benefitting the PPR

North American Wetland Conservation Act Grants were announced today. Two standard grants and eight small grants were awarded to projects within the PPJV region.

Conservation Organizations Join Forces for Prairie Conservation

Conservation Organizations Join Forces for Prairie Conservation

A coalition of conservation organizations launched a coordinated, partner-driven campaign to bring attention to the dramatic conversion of grasslands and wetlands to cropland.

USDA to Invest to Benefit Pollinators in the Prairie Pothole Region

USDA to Invest to Benefit Pollinators in the Prairie Pothole Region

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that close to $3 million in technical and financial assistance will be available to help improve private lands for the health of bees. The funding will benefit three states in the PPR.

USDA to Invest in Grasslands and Wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region

USDA to Invest in Grasslands and Wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that up to $35 million will be provided to help landowners conserve grasslands and wetlands in the Prairie Pothole region.

Pheasants Forever Praises 2014 Farm Bill

Pheasants Forever Praises 2014 Farm Bill

Today, President Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014, commonly known as the farm bill, into law. The farm bill addressed Pheasants Forever’s top conservation priorities: reauthorizing vital USDA conservation programs, re-linking conservation compliance to crop insurance and “sodsaver,” or native prairie, protection.

Ducks Unlimited Present at Farm Bill Signing

Ducks Unlimited Present at Farm Bill Signing

Ducks Unlimited attended today’s signing of the Farm Bill.  They celebrated the bill for including recoupling of conservation compliance practices to eligibility for crop insurance and a Sodsaver program that will impact the Prairie Pothole Region.

I Didn't Know Wetlands Did That

I Didn't Know Wetlands Did That

Consider the larger suite of benefits of wetlands in terms of ecological goods and services with this article from “North Dakota Water”.

State and Fate of the Prairies

State and Fate of the Prairies

Read about the alarming fate of the prairies in “Outdoor America”, its causes, the magnitude of the loss, and the impacts.

Grasslands Get Squeezed

Grasslands Get Squeezed

National Public Radio reports on the impacts of shrinking participation in the Conservation Reserve Program on soil, streams, and wildlife in the Prairie Pothole Region.

State of the Birds on Private Lands

State of the Birds on Private Lands

Private lands are critical to the conservation of U.S. birds, states the latest State of the Birds report published by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative.

North American Prairies in the All Bird Bulletin

North American Prairies in the All Bird Bulletin

The North American Bird Conservation Initiative focused their summer 2012 issue on grasslands and prairies.