Omaha, Nebraska (August 10, 2022) – Audubon Nebraska announced that Bill Sellers has taken the role of Range Ecologist. The Range Ecologist is a new position for Audubon Nebraska and will include management and implementation of the Audubon Conservation Ranching Initiative (ACR), further expanding the program across the Great Plains.
Before Audubon, Sellers worked at Pheasants Forever, where he coordinated and implemented the conservation provisions of the Federal Farm Bill and other related wildlife conservation programs. In addition, he provided technical assistance to landowners regarding rangeland and wildlife management, habitat planning, contract coordination, conservation plan modification, site assessment, and reporting. Sellers has also served with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Cooperative Republican-Platte Enhancement Project, and the United States Geological Survey. He has extensive experience with fisheries and wildlife management, including managing a 19,000-acre prairie restoration project.
“Coming from the southern Sandhills, I understand the immense importance of working with landowners and community members to conserve one of the largest intact grasslands in the world,” Sellers said. “Seeing birds on a property I've worked on has been my measure of success.”
The Audubon Conservation Ranching Initiative offers incentives for good grassland stewardship. We work with local privately-owned ranches to implement regenerative grazing and other bird conservation practices, such as controlling invasive species and native plant seeding. This voluntary program offers incentives, notably through a land certification and accompanying label on beef products. The Audubon Certified bird-friendly seal – which indicates a product’s origin on lands managed for birds and biodiversity – brings a broad market appeal that enhances demand by consumers that want options for beef that is sustainable and benefits wildlife habitats.
Since 2009, ACR regionally has:
- Enrolled 23 ranches totaling over 140,000 acres in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana
- Provided brand support to two branded programs that source cattle from ACR-certified ranches in the Dakotas, that in turn supply beef to over 20 outlets in the region
- Conducted more than 80 biological surveys on 23 ranches