In 2017, Audubon Dakota initiated the establishment of the Prairie Management Toolbox Program. Now in Grand Forks, Central Coteau, and Stutsman County, with roughly 10,000 acres enrolled.
The Prairie Management Toolbox provides financial and technical support for grazing infrastructure for private landowners. Funding for the program was provided by the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF), which has allowed Audubon Dakota to enhance over 15,000 acres of rangeland.
- Grazing Infrastructure Support: financial support is available for landowners interested in establishing or expanding grazing infrastructure (fencing, well, pipelines, ect.)
Ben Draxton of Thompson, ND was the first landowner to enroll within Audubon Dakota’s Grand Forks County Prairie Management Toolbox in early 2018. As a young rancher, Ben has proved to be an ambitious and willing partner who is eager to expand and improve his grassland acres for his cattle and native wildlife. This year, Audubon Dakota and NRCS assisted Ben with installing over 20,000 feet of fencing on 363 acres of rangeland, and invasive species removal on 213 acres. Grassland birds that will benefit from the improved range management on Ben’s family ranch include western meadowlark and marbled godwit.
“As a landowner and rancher I appreciated Audubon's desire to partner with me. It's great to see a group like Audubon that has a passion for grasslands, come up with a plan of action that benefits the cattle producer and promotes healthy habitats for wildlife. Also they are great people to work with and the made the process smooth and enjoyable.” – Ben Draxton