Ranch Systems and Viability Planning (RSVP)

Brown cattle in a grassland field

World Wildlife Fund’s Sustainable Ranching Initiative wants to support your ranching operation and help grasslands thrive.

World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Sustainable Ranching Initiative (SRI) is partnering with ranchers across the Northern Great Plains (NGP) to increase sustainable grassland management on one million acres in five years.

Through the Ranch Systems and Viability Planning network (RSVP), WWF has established a comprehensive support system for ranchers to develop sustainable grazing management plans with assistance from on-the-ground technical specialists and to access continuing education to improve ecological outcomes at scale in the NGP. The initiative aims to improve management on 1 million acres across the region over five years, increasing carbon sequestration, improving water infiltration, and biodiversity health.

To date, WWF has enrolled 80 ranches totaling over 760,000 acres in central and eastern Montana, western South Dakota, and the Nebraska Sandhills. Fifty-five percent of our ranchers are primarily managed or co-managed by women and 31% of our ranches are managed by beginning ranchers defined as under the age of 40.

The SRI program recognizes that each producer is unique and has different goals for their land, families, and communities. We are excited to offer the RSVP program as a unique and flexible program that will help ranchers meet those goals while increasing the health of rangelands and the ranch’s bottom line.

There are two main ways that ranchers can participate in the program. The first way is to enroll your ranch in RSVP and gain access to all program benefits including our cost-share program. The second way is to participate in RSVP network activities including ranch tours, online webinars and workshops and other educational offerings.

RSVP ranchers have utilized the program to attend Ranching for Profit schools, attend grazing and soil health workshops, install water and fence infrastructure and other conservation projects, and develop grazing plans.

The initiative is funded by McDonalds, the Walmart Foundation, and others. The SRI team looks forward to working with you and your ranch to meet your goals and protect grasslands.

A rancher working with cattle

Interested in learning more?