First Nations Releases 2nd Edition of Conservation Planning Guide for Native American Ranchers

New guide provides vision and actions for stewarding Native lands, improving soil health, and promoting longevity

LONGMONT, Colorado (February 22, 2022) – As part of ongoing efforts to assist Native American ranchers in the development of conservation plans that address natural resource concerns, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has released the second edition of its popular resource,  A Conservation Planning Guide for Native American Ranchers.

The guide was originally published in 2018 with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) and The Christensen Fund. It was compiled by First Nations consultant Steve Barker of Resource Management Systems, LLC, and the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts, with input from 14R Ranch, which received grant support through the First Nations “Conservation for Navajo Livestock Producers” project.

First Nations Vice President of Programs & Administration Jackie Francke said the new edition will ensure the guide continues to be an important tool in helping Native ranchers create conservation plans, which are a roadmap for keeping rangelands healthy and productive, increasing herd health, and boosting production and profitability, while protecting the ecosystem and wildlife for future generations.

“In combination with traditional ecological knowledge, conservation plans provide a pathway to sustainable long-term strategies that lead to healthy and productive lands and Indigenous connection of ecosystems,” Francke said.

The new edition was published with the ongoing support of the USDA-NRCS to help build the capacity of Native American producers relative to business development, food sovereignty and conservation planning. In line with this, First Nations is incorporating the guide into trainings and technical assistance provided through First Nations’ Stewarding Native Lands program and the Native Farmer and Rancher Apprenticeship Network, which help Native producers develop strategies that will professionalize their operations, increase production, and increase their access to markets.

The second edition A Conservation Planning Guide for Native American Ranchers is available for free download at

To learn more about First Nations training and technical assistance through the Stewarding Native Lands program, as well as to obtain a print version of the Guide, contact First Nations Program Officer Leiloni Begaye at

About First Nations Development Institute
For 41 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit