The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Grasslands Glossary was created to identify and compare terminology that describes ranching beneficial management practices in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

The glossary provides the CEC and partners with a common vocabulary as well as a common understanding of the attributes and measures associated with each term. It also serves as a tool for gathering experiences that already exist in ranching and other related activities on the landscape into guidelines and beneficial practices that can be used for the promotion of sustainable production in the North American Grasslands.

An ad hoc trilateral group charged with compiling the glossary developed a matrix of terms, divided by country (Canada, Mexico, United States), language (English, Spanish) and five thematic sections: Ecology, Economy, Environment, Management, and Marketing. This product contains a selection of the most relevant and broadly subscribed terms and definitions captured in the matrix.

In some cases a definition does not yet exist for a given country. In others, a given term was found to have several different meanings, depending on the thematic context within which it was used. Terms not used in North America were avoided.

It is hoped that the comparison of terms in this glossary improves communication among ranchers, conservationists, producers, academics and government officials—both within and between countries—and can provide a basis for sharing knowledge and lessons learned on the conservation and sustainable use of North America’s only true continentally-shared terrestrial biome.

Lastly, a list of resources was compiled to further assist those striving to conserve and sustainably use the North American Grasslands, including grant and financing information, academic journals and publications, environmental stewardship awards, and general information.