Around the world, conservation areas have begun to understand that the most effective strategies promote the health of both people and nature. This requires creating opportunities for local landowners to benefit from wildlife. To that end, we launched a for-profit beef company and the Wild Sky brand called Wild Sky®. Profits from the sale of this high-quality grass-fed beef are used to pay ranchers who modify operations in accord with our biodiversity goals. By creating incentives to view wildlife as a benefit, we hope to blur the boundaries of our reserve with surrounding agricultural lands, creating a blended landscape in which neighbors receive economic benefit from multiple values in addition to agriculture.

Wildlife-friendly protocols: Wild Sky’s ranching protocols cover a number of areas relating to wildlife conservation—from the conservation of native prairie, to the protection of prairie dogs, to the installation of wildlife-friendly fencing. Details on this graduated program can be found here. Participating ranchers are audited biannually to ensure that they adhere to voluntary protocols.