With the Amazon rainforest on fire and Burger King selling Impossible Burgers, there’s a lot of concern about beef and ranching right now. But mass media hasn’t told both sides of the story.

As a rancher in northeast Wyoming and a lifelong conservationist (yes, those two things can go together), I rarely care what people outside of my family and my circle of neighbors say about my business or my environmental practices. But recent publicity has made cattle ranching seem antithetical to conservation. It’s not.

Dusty Downey is a Wyoming rancher and program lead for Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Initiative. He and his family live in Moorcroft, Wyoming.

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