- Issue: Fall 2021
NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS :: US & CANADA
The grasslands of the Northern Great Plains are home to 1,595 varieties of plants, 95 species of mammals, and hundreds of pollinators. Lush grasses and diverse native wildflowers stretch out for thousands of acres, providing a home for bumblebees, black-footed ferrets, bison, and songbirds.
“Wildflowers, and many other grassland plants, are not just pretty ornaments. Their roots can reach up to 10 or 15 feet deep, take tons of water down into the soil, and sequester a tremendous amount of carbon,” says Clay Bolt, WWF-US communications lead for the Northern Great Plains. Despite their importance, about 6 million acres of these grasslands were plowed up for industrial farming between 2012 and 2019.
This past May, to highlight this ecosystem’s unique conservation potential, WWF-US and partners released The Rangeland Atlas, which found that over half the planet’s land—54%—is made up of rangelands (grasslands, desert shrublands, savannas, and more). Although rangelands make up a large portion of our world’s ecosystems, only 10% are protected.
This is one of the reasons WWF-US has teamed up with Air Wick Scented Oils® and Botanica by Air Wick® to reseed 1 billion square feet of grassland and wildflower habitat over the next three years. Through the combined power of research and restoration, we can help conserve the Northern Great Plains’ wild beauty and support its role as a life-sustaining ecosystem for both wildlife and people.