July 29, 2022 – For Immediate Release
Contact: William Bevil, Communications Manager, (970) 482-1707 ext. 30
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies Promotes Importance of Grasslands
BRIGHTON, Colo., —The Central Grasslands span hundreds of millions of acres across Sovereign Indigenous Nation Lands, Canada, the United States and Mexico, and are one of North America’s largest and most vital ecosystems. Grasslands support critical environmental functions including water supply, soil health and biodiversity, and are also essential for agriculture, food security and supporting rural communities.
For example, healthy grasslands filter sediment, nutrients, and bacteria that end up in waterways, threatening fish and drinking water. Grasslands improve air quality and help mitigate the effects of climate change by sequestering carbon and increasing resilience against drought, fire and wind erosion. Healthy grasslands also provide vital habitat for wildlife including grazing animals like bison and pronghorn as well as livestock.
As grasslands disappear, so do many of the benefits they provide—and more than 50 million acres of grassland have been lost in the last 10 years. Many people are unaware of the benefits that grasslands provide or the implications of their declines and what it means to current and future generations.
Birds are good indicators of environmental health serving as seed dispersers, pollinators and providing pest control. Since 1970, grassland bird species have seen a 53-percent reduction in their populations — more than 720 million birds lost. This early warning sign reveals that our diminishing grasslands are being so severely impacted by human activities that they no longer support the same robust wildlife populations they once did.
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and other partners from the Central Grasslands Roadmap are participating in an 8-week social media campaign (Aug. 1 – Sept 18) that enlists the collective, coordinated voices of organizations and individuals to help spread the word about the benefits of grasslands to people and wildlife. A key engagement area is urban and suburban audiences, groups that are more likely to be geographically disconnected from grasslands and less aware of their personal relevance.
The campaign features a collection of beautifully-designed graphics and accompanying messages, available in both Spanish and English, that were created to help inform and inspire connection and action. The assets are freely available at grasslandsroadmap.org/grasslandsandyou for others to download and share on their personal and organizational social media feeds.
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is using the campaign as an engagement tool to spread the word to their supporters, followers and fans to raise awareness about grasslands and what they are doing to support grassland conservation. They will share calls-to-action and provide ways for people to get involved to help grasslands and grassland birds—from volunteering, to making donations in support of conservation initiatives, and more.
Small, everyday actions can help, such as making grasslands-friendly consumer choices. Examples include buying bird-friendly meat from locally-owned, conservation-focused ranches and purchasing organically-grown produce to reduce the use of pesticides that can harm grassland pollinators.
The Central Grasslands Roadmap aims guide and inform innovative and connected conservation and includes a cross-section of leaders and experts representing producers on working land, Indigenous/First Nations, federal, state and provincial agencies, foundations, industry, and nongovernmental organizations including; land trusts, conservation organizations, and academia.
About the Central Grasslands Roadmap
The Central Grasslands Roadmap aims to guide and inform innovative and connected conservation for the benefit of grassland birds, pollinators and mammals, as well as to ensure viable human communities across the landscape of one of North America’s most biogeographically unique areas. The Roadmap community includes a cross-section of leaders and experts that live and work in the Central Grasslands — including producers on working land, Sovereign First Nations and Indigenous Communities, federal, state and provincial agencies, foundations, industry, and nongovernmental organizations including; land trusts, conservation organizations, and academia. For more information: https://www.grasslandsroadmap.org/
About Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is a Colorado-based nonprofit that works to conserve birds and their habitats through an integrated approach of science, education and land stewardship. Our work extends from the Rockies to the Great Plains, Mexico and beyond. Together, we are improving native bird populations, the land and the lives of people. We envision a world where birds are forever abundant, contributing to healthy landscapes and inspiring human curiosity and love of nature. For more information: https://www.birdconservancy.org/
Grasslands and You Campaign Information: grasslandsroadmap.org/grasslandsandyou
Central Grasslands Roadmap Official Press Release for the Campaign