The North Dakota Conservation Forage Program works with North Dakota's producers to establish grasslands on marginal cropland to improve forage availability and quality. By providing support through financial and technical assistance to landowners, CFP aims to accelerate grassland restoration and improve overall soil health across the state. These grassland acres benefit the landowner and livestock, as well as grassland birds and native wildlife while protecting North Dakota's air and water quality for future generations.
Grassland bird species are among the most imperiled group of birds in the United States. Since 1966, the population has declined by more than 40 percent. Historical grasslands once stretched from Alberta to Mexico. However, fewer than 40 percent of these grasslands remain. In North Dakota, over a dozen species of birds depend on North Dakota grasslands for food, shelter, and breeding habitat, including, North Dakota’s state bird, the Western Meadowlark which has lost an estimated 60 million from its population in the last 50 years.
The North Dakota Conservation Forage Program aims to improve wildlife habitat, forage availability/quality, and soil health by establishing grassland and integrating grazing and/or haying land management techniques on more than 18,000 acres of private lands. Enrolled landowners are expected to maintain the restored grasslands for a 10-year term.
- Water Infrastructure
*Thanks to a generous grant from Corteva
The North Dakota Conservation Forage Program (CFP) launched in the spring of 2021 supported by a $6.9 million North Dakota Industrial Commission Outdoor Heritage Fund grant, the largest awarded by the Commission.
North Dakota Conservation Forage Program aligns with the Meadowlark Initiative: A strategy initiated by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, tapping into the collective insights, resources and efforts of conservation, agriculture and industry partners to enhance, restore and sustain native grasslands in North Dakota.