Credit: Casey Stemler

Prairie Pothole Joint Venture


Land Protection

Agricultural conversion rates for wetlands and grasslands (-0.65% to -2.27%) in PPJV states exceed protection rates. USFWS currently maintains a waiting list for perpetual wetland and grassland easements of >1500 private landowners comprising thousands of acres in PPJV states. Landowners are prioritized based on breeding waterfowl models developed with the PPJV. Partners currently perpetually protect ~100,000 acres annually through easements and fee-title acquisition. Term-limited protection (30-50 year) through state and Farm Bill programs include an additional 300,000 acres annually

5-year acres: 500,000 (perpetual)
5-year cost: $300 million

Grassland Restoration

The U.S. part of the Prairie Potholes Bird Conservation Region (BCR 11) continues to experience some of the highest grassland loss rates on the continent, primarily to agricultural conversion. Although PPJV partners annually restore 50,000 grassland acres through various restoration programs (Federal, State, NGO), loss rates continue at an estimated 2% annually. Several partner programs use breeding waterfowl and grassland bird models to prioritize fragmented landscapes for restoration.

5-year acres: 296,000
5-year cost: $59 million

Grassland Enhancement/Management

Primary grassland enhancement programs in the PPJV are designed to improve habitats degraded by woody encroachment, invasive species, and detrimental grazing. Practices include prescribed grazing, prescribed fire, and invasive species control. Private lands programs (Federal, State, NGO) are the lead entities that work with private landowners.

5-year acres: 434,000
5-year cost: $21

Wetland Conservation

With the majority of the 3.3 million wetlands in the U.S. PPR are characterized by temporary and seasonal hydro periods. These small shallow emergent wetlands are embedded in landscapes providing a matrix of wetlands and grasslands for breeding and migrating grassland birds. Continued agricultural conversion results in loss rates that exceed restoration rates. Currently, PPJV partners restore 7,500 acres annually.

5-year acres: 37,500
5-year cost: $7.5 million