Beef and beyond: Paying for ecosystem services on Western US rangelands

Joshua H. Goldstein, Carrie K. Presnall, Laura López-Hoffman, Gary P. Nabhan, Richard L. Knight, George B. Ruyle, Theodore P. Toombs

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

22 Scopus citations


Rangelands provide a diverse array of vital services that pertain to human life: food and fiber, clean drinking water, climate regulation, recreational experiences, wildlife habitat, and others. Ranchers and diverse publics have shared interests in these benefits, and ranchers have a financial interest in maintaining the long-term productivity of these landscapes. Ecosystem services are the benefits that people derive from nature that support and fulfill human life. Although livestock products are likely the most recognized ecosystem service provided by rangelands, healthy rangelands provide a wide array of ecosystem services. The value of payment projects focusing specifically on water quality was recently estimated to be $9.3 billion in 2008, and $50 billion cross all years that examined programs have been active. Third are biodiversity-focused payment programs, which provide payments to landowners for undertaking practices that result in the protection and enhancement of habitat and target species, including mitigation banks for protecting the habitat of endangered species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages9
Specialist publicationRangelands
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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