Audubon Conservation Ranching

Grassland birds have suffered an unparalleled decline over the past half century, stemming from widespread development of North America’s grasslands. This calls for Audubon's action. The Audubon Conservation Ranching (ACR) program seeks to stabilize declining grassland bird populations in partnership with land stewards. Through this market based approach, Audubon is connecting conservation-conscious consumers tofarmers and ranchers that employ bird-friendly management practices in raising their livestock.

ACR in the Upper Mississippi River Region

Audubon Upper Mississippi River (UMR) employs staff dedicated to working with private landowners and land stewards for improving grassland bird habitat. These individuals prioritize providing high quality technical assistance to private landowners through programs such as ACR, leading to habitat restoration, enhancement, and protection. Currently, Audubon UMR employs staff in Minnesota to deliver ACR, while providing technical assistance to Missouri ACR producers as well. ACR will be introduced in Iowa in the near future.

To find an ACR staff person near you, please review the map and staff below:

Alexandra Wardwell: Alexandra (Alex) is the Prairie Project Manager with Audubon UMR, located in Polk County. In addition to serving as the NW MN ACR representative, Alex manages Audubon’s prairie and wetlands restoration program in the Important Bird Areas and Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan boundaries of western MN and the globally unique Tallgrass Aspen Parklands ecoregion. Email Alex.

Krysten Zummo: Krysten is the Audubon UMR Grassland Ecologist for Minnesota, located in La Crosse, WI. Krysten is dedicated to implementing ACR within MN through rancher enrollment, habitat management plan development, and technical assistance. She has extensive experience with habitat restoration and protection with emphasis on establishing healthy bird habitat. Email Krysten.

Sarah Hewitt: Sarah is the Senior Conservation Manager for Audubon UMR, located in Sartell, MN. Her ACR responsibilities include staff management, strategic planning, and partnership development. Sarah will be temporarily be facilitating the technical assistance to Missouri producers enrolled in ACR. Email Sarah.

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