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Montana Grasslands, USA

Preserving the grasslands by avoiding conversion to croplands

Project overview

  • Region: North America

  • Project type: Forestry and landscapes

  • Standards: CAR

The conversion of grasslands to row-crop agriculture releases large amounts of carbon from the soil. This Avoided Grassland Conversion (AGC) project ensures that grassland is maintained on the Carroll Ranch in the Bitter Creek badlands of North-Eastern Montana. By preserving grasslands, it locks carbon into the soil and avoids the emissions associated with converting grassland into croplands, generating more than 120,000 offset credits for the Ranch over the next decade. The project commenced in late 2016 in conjunction with a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy.

Sustainable Development Goals

In addition to delivering emissions reductions to help take urgent action to combat climate change (SDG 13), we expect the project to deliver another benefit. The contributions towards the SDG have been indicatively measured but need to be confirmed: 

  • Life on Land: Montana's Northern Great Plains encompass some of the largest and most significant native grasslands remaining in the United States. These areas support rare and declining grassland birds, wildlife such as pronghorn, mule deer, badger and swift fox. 

Globally, every year roughly 1.7 million hectares of natural grasslands and shrub lands are being converted for crops or other uses