USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) durability assessment with FORT

Science Center Objects

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is assisting the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) in conducting an assessment of the current status of agricultural lands that were previously, but not currently, enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The goal of the FORT effort is to provide USDA with information on the fate and condition of grasslands established under the program after the CRP contracts protecting those grasslands expire. Are they maintained as habitat, used for livestock grazing, or returned to crop production; and, of those that remain, what species do they support? This study being conducted across fourteen states in the central and western United States is designed to address these questions.  We are assisting FORT by overseeing field sampling of CRP sites in ND, SD, and MN. Information gained will used by USDA and others to refine management actions and policy decisions regarding the long-term provisioning of wildlife habitat and other environmental services provided by perennial grasslands in agricultural landscapes.