Landowners can now enroll in the Northern Great Plains Regenerative Grazing Program. After piloting the program for four years, WSE announced the carbon program opened earlier last month for general enrollment. Since then, staff members Chris Mehus and Alex Blake have been busy meeting with prospective landowners throughout Montana and Wyoming and speaking at events. “This is a new, unique opportunity for ranchers wishing to engage in better grazing practices to receive carbon credit funding from companies and individuals,” Chris explained. “It’s an exciting time for landowners.”
The growing interest in the carbon markets has prompted more speaking engagements. During the last week of March alone, staff spoke at three events throughout the state, including MSU’s Holistic Management class, Montana Bison Association annual meeting, and the Montana Ag Bankers conference.
Each year MSU’s Holistic Management class professor, Lora Soderquist, and her co-instructor, Roland Kroos, ask ranchers and other practitioners to share their experiences. For the second year in a row, WSE’s Chris Mehus and Alex Blake presented, covering the two new tools, the Regenerative Ranch Guide and Land Health Dashboard, and the current status of the carbon trading for improved grazing program. During the presentation, the fifty enrolled students actively participated with questions and great discussion.
Secondly, Chris presented to the Montana Bison Association annual meeting via Zoom. He shared details about the carbon program and how bison ranchers can better manage their herd’s grazing to provide adequate rest and encourage healthier soil conditions.
Lastly, Chris and carbon program participant Tyrel Obrecht, a rancher from Turner, spoke at the Montana Ag Bankers annual conference in Bozeman. The seventy-five plus lenders in attendance were given a class in carbon credits and grazing management practices that promote soil and rangeland health. After the presentation, Chris noted that several came up to ask how their customers might take advantage of this new opportunity.
WSE’s Grassland Carbon Initiative was established to aid landowners in setting up their grazing and monitoring plans. The program has expanded to include working with Native to help ranchers understand and participate in their Northern Great Plains Regenerative Grazing Project. This program provides up-front funding for infrastructure improvements like wells, pipelines, tanks, fencing materials as well as additional labor. For more information on this innovative, emerging marketplace, visit WSE’s website or contact Chris Mehus directly.