American Prairie Reserve

MONTANA, USA

American Prairie Reserve is spearheading a unique effort to create the largest nature reserve in the United States by linking together more than 3.5 million acres of critical habitat. The Reserve has already grown to more than 350,000 acres since 2001, on the legendary plains of Montana. Scientists have identified that this area is one of only four remaining areas in the world that are viable for grassland conservation.

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By setting aside important habitats and committing to restoration programmes, hopes for wildlife in the area are high. The Reserve is home to the first bison herd on this landscape in more than 120 years and has grown the herd from eight to 700 animals in eleven years. Attracting visitors from all over the world, the American Prairie Reserve is a living laboratory — contributing more than $34 million to the area’s economy in the form of land management, job creation and tourism. Alongside indigenous birds and wildlife, Native American and homestead-era historical sites are being preserved.

 

Sleeping under the stars in the American Prairie Reserve is an iconic experience; either in the public campground at Buffalo Park or in the luxury yurts at Kestrel Camp. Those that visit can also take heart that they are helping to preserve one of America’s last great wild places. If successful in its ambitious plans, the reserve could create a wildlife spectacle to rival the Serengeti, a place where elk, mule deer, pronghorn and American bison all thrive.  

 

www.americanprairie.org

The 4Cs

American Prairie Reserve joined The Long Run in 2015 and committed to a holistic balance of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce – as a means to contribute meaningfully to the biodiversity and the people of their local region.

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CONSERVATION

American Prairie Reserve’s goal is to assemble a landscape spanning more than 3.5 million acres of public and private land managed for biodiversity conservation. Since its inception in 2001, the Reserve has made significant strides in reaching its conservation goals, including growing the Reserve to more than 350,000 acres. In addition to setting aside important wildlife habitat, American Prairie Reserve works to increase wildlife populations through science and restoration. The Reserve is home to the first bison herd on the landscape in more than 120 years and has grown the herd from 8 animals in 2005 to an estimated 700 animals in 2016. More than 50 miles of fence have been removed to ease wildlife movement and re-open migratory corridors for species like pronghorn.

COMMUNITY

Since 2002, American Prairie Reserve has contributed more than $34 million to the area economy. In addition to land purchases and financing, other major areas of economic contributions are reserve management expenses, local employee wages, local taxes and fees, and visitation and tourism expenses. A positive consequence of the growing Reserve is that the number of staff needed to maintain the properties also grows. In 2015, American Prairie Reserve paid wages to 27 permanent and seasonal employees that lived and worked on the Reserve.

CULTURE

The Reserve area formed an integral part of the culture and spirituality of several Native American tribes, and later witnessed the Lewis and Clark expedition and westward travels of American settlers and homesteaders. American Prairie Reserve incorporates compelling stories about Native Americans, early explorers, and early settlers into the visitor experience through interpretation, exhibits, and visits to historic points of interest. Working with local elders, our campground welcome signs feature greetings in the languages of the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine, honouring two of the local tribes that lived and hunted in the region for thousands of years and continue to do so today.

COMMERCE

American Prairie Reserve is a financially stable and growing nonprofit with donors in 12 countries and a sister organisation in Germany called “Friends of the American Serengeti.” The Reserve employ 30 full-time employees, including seven employees and their families that live and work on the Reserve year-round. In addition to contributing to local economies through wages and spending on Reserve management supplies, American Prairie Reserve also pays all property taxes and is one of the top taxpayers in the region. The economic benefits offered to the region continue to rise each year.

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