West Bijou Site to be dedicated as National Natural Landmark
WHAT: The dedication of the West Bijou Site as a National Natural Landmark (NNL)
WHERE: Savory West Bijou Ranch, 60100 E Co Road 42, Strasburg, CO 80136 (31 miles east of Denver, Colo.)
WHEN: Thursday, August 17, 2017. Media preview 3:00-4:30pm (bison on grassland in near distance). Dedication ceremony 5:00pm.
WHY: Designated as the 599th National Natural Landmark on Nov.17, 2016 by Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, the 7,613 acre-site, West Bijou Site contains fossils, minerals and metals that are critical to the understanding of the timescale of Earth’s history. The 1.18-inch band of sediments on the Site record the extinction of the dinosaurs, and the beginning of the Cenozoic Era, known as the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The Site was previously managed by the non-profit Plains Conservation Center, which recently transferred ownership to Savory Institute to utilize the state’s front range as a demonstration site and center of excellence for regenerating endangered grasslands through holistic management.
WHO: The dedication will be given by Jeff Orlowski regional coordinator of the NNL program at the National Park Service. Also in attendance will be Heather Eggleston, NNL program manager; Ian Miller, Denver Museum of Nature and Science; Daniela Ibarra-Howell, CEO and co-founder of SI; Byron Shelton, senior program director at SI; and Savory Hub land managers.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE – BACKGROUND INFORMATION
BOULDER (Jan. 24, 2017) – At the forefront of the fight to save the world’s grasslands, the Savory Institute is taking a bold step towards ecological change on a global scale. Savory’s new Land to Market verification program will enable consumers to buy food and fashion items derived from livestock properly managed through practices verified to enhance water availability, soil health, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitats. A recent Indiegogo campaign raised over $44,000 in support of the initiative.
Addressing the true cost of fast-food and fast-fashion, Savory’s Land to Market is a grassroots and collaborative program designed to create a market and production system for products that regenerate land and human health. Savory’s program will equip and support producers while providing brands and consumers with an efficient and transparent mechanism to guide their purchases of regenerative food and fiber items.
“Currently, regenerative producers are unable to position their products advantageously and differentiate themselves in the market place. Additionally, there is no outcome based verification mechanism to back claims of regenerative land management,” explains Savory Institute co-founder and CEO, Daniela Ibarra-Howell. “We’ve engaged with partners across the conservation and academic spectrum to develop an Ecological Outcome Verification tool to allow robust measurements of key indicators of ecosystem health, to be analyzed, verified, and compared across contexts, and the data utilized in retail programs,” she notes.
Michigan State University (MSU), a Savory hub, is taking the lead in aggregating the data from the program. Hub leader, Dr. Jason Rowntree, says, “We are hoping to create one of the largest global databases for monitoring ecosystem services, with MSU serving as the data analysis arm”.
Savory’s goal is to positively impact 1 billion hectares (2.47B acres) of grasslands through Holistic Management by 2025.
Grasslands are critically important ecosystems that are key to reversing climate change. Through a growing network of over 30 internationally-located hubs, Savory works with producers to show them how to restore the natural cycles of grasslands through properly managed grazing. As livestock, such as cattle, bison, sheep and goats, produce manure and till the ground, grass flourishes, more carbon is removed from the atmosphere, and land managers can raise more nutrient-dense food. Empirical data scientifically demonstrating these improvements will be used to verify a producer’s acceptance into the Land to Market program. Those who struggle to improve their land can utilize the resources and experience of Savory’s global network to improve their practices.
“This is not just another certification or label,” states Ibarra-Howell. “While existing programs identify products that are GMO or chemical-free, or raised with high animal welfare standards, they can’t tell us if our environment is getting better. People want to connect with the source and impact of their food and fiber choices – they are committed and willing to make a difference for themselves and the planet. This program will contribute towards that end,” says Ibarra-Howell.
Savory’s Land to Market program is currently being prototyped in ten hub regions, with leading market partners such as Epic Bar Provisions, Maple Hill Creamery and White Oak Pastures among others. These market partners are seeking to lead the regenerative movement with transparency, authenticity, and accountability, and are willing to explore new models.
The program will ultimately roll out across Savory global network in 2018. Funds raised from the Indiegogo campaign will be used to collect ecological data among the producer networks of the prototype hubs and train the first cluster of hub verifiers.
To learn more about the program, visit: http://www.savory.global/landtomarket/
Producers, brands and manufacturers can contact Chris Kerson at CKerston@savory.global for details.
About the Savory Institute
The Savory Institute facilitates large-scale restoration of the world’s grasslands through Holistic Management. The Institute develops innovative tools and enhanced curricula, informs policy, establishes market incentives, increases public awareness, and coordinates relevant research, cultivating relationships with aligned partners. The Savory Institute is partnering with organizations worldwide to create a global network that will address the regeneration of 1 billion hectares of grasslands by 2025. Additional news and information about the organization is available at http://savory.global, and Facebook.