With the fluctuations in cattle prices and rental rates for pasture, the economics of ranching can often be challenging. At the same time, many ranchers in the American West manage their grazing operations in ways that consider and promote native species that live in and off of the same landscapes utilized by cattle. Increasingly, ranchers are provided with opportunities to realize additional revenue streams on their land through good stewardship and proper management of native or wild species habitat.

National agriculture industry consulting and CPA firm K-Coe Isom recently announced a new program aimed to help ranchers generate revenue from conservation projects while simultaneously reducing the rancher’s inherent risk of testing and implementing such projects. Funded by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the program is specific to ranchers whose property is located in priority sage grouse habitat or crucial mule deer winter range or designated mule deer migration corridors within Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, or California. If selected to participate in the program, ranchers within these geographic boundaries interested in restoring, protecting, creating or enhancing habitat on their land and selling habitat mitigation credits are afforded a cost-recovery guarantee of up to $35,000 for the up-front costs of habitat mitigation credit development. Ranchers selected pay out-of-pocket (alternate funding could be available and utilized in addition to NRCS guarantee) for the costs associated with determining the feasibility of credit formation and sales. If the landowner's habitat mitigation program is successful, the sale of habitat mitigation credits can provide an ongoing, additional revenue stream for ranchers. 

This round of the program implementation will involve eight individual landowners. The three-year timeline for program is as follows:


For more information on the program or rancher eligibility requirements, click the "learn more" button below or contact Brad with K-Coe Isom at