American Prairie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from American Prairie Reserve)

American Prairie
Photo of bison standing amidst prairie landscape
LocationNortheast Montana
Nearest cityMalta
Coordinates47°44′41″N 107°46′33″W / 47.74472°N 107.77583°W / 47.74472; -107.77583Coordinates: 47°44′41″N 107°46′33″W / 47.74472°N 107.77583°W / 47.74472; -107.77583
Area455,840 acres (1,844.7 km2)
Established2001; 22 years ago (2001)
OperatorAmerican Prairie Foundation
WebsiteOfficial website

American Prairie is a prairie-based nature reserve in Central Montana being developed as a private project of the American Prairie Foundation (APF). This independent non-profit organization is creating a wildlife conservation area that aims to cover over 3 million acres (12,000 km2) through a combination of both private and public lands to establish a mixed grass prairie ecosystem with migration corridors and native wildlife.

American Prairie provides public access to its land for all types of outdoor recreation including hiking, mountain biking, hunting, and fishing. The predominant economic activity in the region is the raising of cattle on homestead parcels along with adjacent rangeland leased from the federal government. Ranchers in the region are invited to adhere to wildlife-friendly standards on their ranches and required when grazing their cattle on American Prairie's parcels. Within large but securely fenced areas, American Prairie is developing a bison herd with attention to heritage genetics and minimal cattle introgression. Wildlife-friendly fencing allows the natural movement of wildlife such as pronghorn. Animals like prairie dogs are welcome amidst the native vegetation.


Prairies are the dominant ecosystem of the Interior Plains of central North America. The main vegetation type is herbaceous plants like grasses, sedges, and other prairie plants, rather than woody vegetation like trees.[1] Grazing is important to soil, vegetation and overall ecological balance. The ecosystem was maintained by a pattern of disturbance caused by natural wildfire and grazing by bison, a pattern which is called pyric herbivory.[2]

Before the 1800s, bison were a keystone species for the native shortgrass prairie habitat as their grazing pressure altered the food web and landscapes in ways that improve biodiversity.[3] The expanses of grass sustained migrations of an estimated 30 to 60 million American bison which could be found across much of North America. While they ranged from the eastern seaboard states to southeast Washington, eastern Oregon, and northeastern California, the greatest numbers were found within the great bison belt on the shortgrass plains east of the Rocky Mountains that stretched from Alberta to Texas.[4]

The grasslands once included more than 1,500 species of plants, 350 birds, 220 butterflies, and 90 mammals.[5] The bison coexisted with elk, deer, pronghorn, swift fox, black-footed ferrets, black-tailed prairie dogs, white-tailed jackrabbits, bears, wolves, coyotes, and cougars.[6][7] The bison scoring the trees with their horns kept them from taking over the open grasslands. As bison grazed, they dispersed seeds by excreting them.[5] The heterogeneous or varied landscape created by the roaming bison helps birds and millions still arrive each year. Long-billed curlews are a migratory shorebirds that rely on three types of habitats on the prairie – areas with short grass, long grass and mud – for completing their breeding cycle each year. Mountain plovers use bison wallows as nesting sites.[8] Prairie dogs benefited from the tendency of the bison to graze areas around prairie dog towns. The bison enjoyed the regrowth of plants previously cropped by the rodents which reduced the grass cover, making it easier to spot predators.[4] Bald eagles, ravens, black-billed magpies, swift foxes, golden eagles, grizzly bears, wolves, beetles, and nematodes benefited from bison carcasses.[9]


Fort Peck Lake reservoir, near American Prairie, 2021

These are the traditional lands of the indigenous peoples of the Great Plains who hunted bison and pronghorn. The expansion of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 doubled the country's territory. This area was commonly known as the Great American Desert and was considered dry, inhospitable and hostile.[10][11] The fur trade in Montana came to the upper Missouri River from about 1800 to the 1850s. From the 1830s, the population of the indigenous people and the bison were quickly decimated through the actions of the government and those who came to the frontier.[12] Under the 1862 Homestead Act, the U.S. government issued the expropriated land for free to settlers under on the condition that they build homes and run farms or ranches.[13]

Prairies were considered areas to be settled and farmed with millions of acres of prairie land being put to the plow during the era of westward expansion.[12] Extensive unplowed grasslands remained in this portion of northeastern Montana as the soil and climate were not suitable for farming. While the homesteaded parcels were generally insufficient to support a family, the grazing of cattle that extended onto adjacent rangeland owned by the federal government was viable.[14] The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 set up grazing districts for the management and regulation of rangelands.[15] Invasive crested wheatgrass was introduced by the US government in the 1930s for use as forage for grazing cattle.[5] The habitat for prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets, bison, wolves and grizzly bears shrank dramatically.[7] During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many national parks, national forests, and other federal lands were designated and protected. Prairies were generally overlooked as mountainous areas that were relatively unproductive for western settlement, or forest reserves that could provide the nation a steady supply of timber were recognized.[12]

Eastern Montana's population has been falling since the 1930s.[16][17] Nearly two-thirds of counties in the Great Plains declined in population between 1950 and 2007.[18][5] Land is for sale as aging ranchers find it difficult for family members take over their spreads.[19][20] Ranching is hard in this area with severe winter weather and hot summers.[21] Rains can be heavy and hard or instead there might be an extended dry spell.[22] Rural agricultural communities in Montana are challenged by trade policies, regulations and industry dynamics.[23] Margins with cattle raising can be slim. Large spreads can be worth millions.[22] Rural recreation counties with hiking, hunting and fishing opportunities are growing faster than counties without those amenities.[24] In general, this region of the country is becoming less dependent on natural resource extraction and more focused on conservation, natural amenities, and recreation.[12]

The Nature Conservancy determined in 1999 that the northern Great Plains were the most viable for restoring the region's habitats and conserving the existing diversity of plants and animals.[25] The upper Missouri River and its banks within the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (Russell NWR) had been designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1976. The relatively pristine condition of the land and the diversity of wildlife species north of Russell NWR was identified as a top priority for grassland conservation.[26] The adjacent 377,000-acre (589 sq mi; 1,526 km2) Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument was created in 2001 with public lands that were mostly already managed by the federal government. The area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is series of badlands characterized by rock outcroppings, steep bluffs, and grassy plains; a topography referred to as "The Breaks" as the land appears to "break away" to the river. Shortly after The Nature Conservancy issued the report, the World Wildlife Fund decided to initiate a conservation effort in the Montana Glaciated Plains and determined that an independent entity was needed that would be capable of focusing all of its time and resources on the preservation effort.[26]


American Prairie in 2021

The American Prairie Foundation was formed in 2001 as an independent, non-profit organization with the mission conserving the existing diversity of plants and animals as a refuge for people and wildlife.[27]: 46  Purchased from willing sellers, ranches come with associated grazing leases on vast expanses of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).[5] In some cases, fencing formerly used to manage cattle or delineate the boundary of the separate ranches, are removed to allow the natural movement of wildlife.[17] A ranch can have hundreds of miles of fences.[21] They ultimately envision a wildlife conservation area over 3 million contiguous acres (12,000 km2) through a combination of both private and public lands with a fully functioning mixed grass prairie ecosystem, complete with self-sustaining populations of native wildlife with big migration patterns.[28] Native vegetation and prairie dogs are encouraged. It could also support predators such as grizzly bears and wolves.[13] They intend to retain ownership in perpetuity which includes lease payments for BLM grazing lands and payment of property taxes to the local government.[27]: 47 

The Timber Creek property acquisition in 2012 of more than 150,000 acres (61,000 ha) of deeded and leased public land shares a 16-mile border (26 km) with the Russell NWR.[29] While purchasing ranches, 63,777 acres (25,810 ha) of leased-public land within the Russell NWR has been retired by returning it to wildlife management purposes after being used for cattle ranching.[26] The neighboring Indigenous communities, that provide opportunities for conservation and connection, include Fort Belknap Indian Community to the west, Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux to the east, and the Chippewa Cree Rocky Boy Tribes to the northwest.[28] In 2021, the American Prairie Reserve was rebranded as American Prairie.[30] As of December 2022, 37 land acquisitions have been made.[31][32] As of December 2022, the Reserve owns 121,783 acres (49,284 ha) and controls the leasing rights on another 334,817 acres (135,496 ha) state and federal acres.[33][28] In July 2022, the public’s access was facilitated by the enrollment of nearly 10,000 acres (4,000 ha) into the block management hunter program of the recently acquired 73 Ranch which supports healthy populations of elk, mule deer, pronghorn, turkeys, pheasants and waterfowl. The general public also began being able to travel throughout the property to an additional 9,300 acres (3,800 ha) of public lands that were previously landlocked and unavailable.[34]

In 2005, 16 bison from Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota were released.[35] A series of plains bison deliveries totaling about 180 were also made from Elk Island National Park between 2011 and 2016.[36][37][38] These herds have minimal cattle gene introgression.[39]: 29  As of 2020, the 800 bison move freely throughout the Sun Prairie unit and portions of the Dry Fork and White Rock units of the reserve.[40] While the majority of the grazing has been on their deeded holdings, the BLM in 2022 authorized converting permits on some leased lands which would allow American Prairie to grow the herd to 1,000 animals by 2025.[14] In Montana, bison are legally classified as domestic livestock.[41] The bison are managed under applicable state laws while minimizing livestock handling techniques.[17] The bison are sourced from certified brucellosis-free herds and are vaccinated and disease-tested like other livestock in the state.[42][43] The reserve installs proper fencing to keep bison contained within the specific sites, including a solar-powered electric wire strung across all exterior wildlife friendly fencing.[12]

Management, cooperative programs, and reactions[edit]

Native tribal nations[edit]

The land has been the home of generations of Indigenous people, including the Aaniiih (Gros Ventre), the Niitsitapi / Pikuni (Blackfeet), the Nakoda / Nakona (Assiniboine), the Lakota / Dakota (Sioux), Apsáalooke (Crow), Ojibwe / Annishinabe / Ne-i-yah-wahk (Chippewa Cree), and Métis (Little Shell Chippewa). The organization prioritizes distributing bison to Native tribal nations with active and well-managed bison restoration programs. The organization's goal is to share with those who have a similar vision of moving bison conservation forward.[44] These partnerships are with Native tribes who are working to restore a deeper cultural, spiritual and economic connection to bison.[45] During semi-annual bison handling operations, AP distributes or exchanges bison to enhance the genetic health of conservation and tribal herds. The operation includes monitoring the overall herd health, testing for disease, complying with state and federal regulations and to maintaining appropriate stocking rates.[44] Thirty-five bison were donated in February 2021 to the Wolakota Buffalo Range in South Dakota along with an intent to contribute up to 170 bison to the herd.[45]


Papers published include studies of beavers, cougars, upland game birds like the Greater sage-grouse, bison and pronghorn migration ecology, and research on the endangered swift fox.[26] The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute began studies in 2018 on how grazing cattle and bison affect biodiversity and the biodiversity of prairie dogs.[46] This will assist in designing a restoration program for black-footed ferrets.[47] A Smithsonian project sought to identify how grazing patterns of different mammals (bison, cattle, prairie dogs) impacted the abundance and diversity of plant and insect communities.[48] Another study involved the collective movement behavior of the bison on the 26,000-acre (11,000 ha) Sun Prairie unit. Using a lightweight, inexpensive, solar-powered GPS tracking unit attached to the ear, they are studying how groups make decisions and move together as a unit.[49]

Wildlife-friendly ranch management[edit]

American Prairie leases grass to local ranchers for approximately 10,000 head of cattle on its properties in Phillips, Valley, Fergus, Blaine and Petroleum counties.[44] Ranchers in the region were also invited to adhere to certain wildlife-friendly standards through American Prairie's Wild Sky ranching program ,[12][50] The wildlife-friendly ranch management is contingent on continuing to leave the native prairie untilled. Nine other standards individually increase the premium: installing wildlife-friendly fences,[51] rejuvenating native plant communities through prescribed burns, keeping cattle out of riparian areas, and agreeing not to harm predators.[52] Enrolled landowners using motion-sensing camera traps set up on their properties can earn per-species payments for images captured of large carnivores such as cougar or black bear. The data collected helps AP and other landowners learn how wildlife uses their property.[12] The ranching community in Phillips County has also responded to programs by the Nature Conservancy that include progressive efforts such as bird counts, managing their land to promote wildlife, and using rotational grazing techniques often referred to as “regenerative agriculture,” which emphasizes grassland health as much as beef sales.[6] The Family South Ranch had a Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ conservation easement before being acquired by American Prairie. This program puts limits on development, requires a sustainable livestock grazing plan, and allows public access for hunting and fishing.[53]

Bison and cattle ranching[edit]

The reception for the creation of the reserve among the ranchers in the sparsely populated area has been mixed. There has been a strong reaction from many who intend to continue grazing cattle.[54] Bison in Montana are a controversial topic although they are raised for meat in other parts of Montana and throughout the United States.[55] The idea of free-ranging bison in the area raises concerns about disease with anything from anthrax and mad cow disease to the dreaded bovine brucellosis, competition for forage by elk and deer, public safety and damage to private property such as fencing.[5][56] Evidence of the continuing concerns can be seen in signs posted with the message "Save The Cowboy, Stop The American Prairie Reserve"[22] and organized opposition such as the United Property Owners of Montana and the Ranchers Stewardship Alliance of South Phillips County.[57] The designation of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in 2001 was viewed by some ranchers as a federal land grab that would ultimately displace them although it allowed for the continuation of existing grazing permits.[12] There is a sentiment that the reserve is threatening and lacks respect for a culture that for more than 150 years has preserved the unplowed prairie that now makes this the ideal location where the vision to return this landscape to what it was like before white settlers arrived can be fulfilled.[20] Ranching families are losing their neighbors as cattle ranches are purchased for the reserve.[58] A longtime rancher and property owner, who is within the bounds of the planned reserve, says this is an assault on her business, culture and those living and working here and that the area is good for growing production livestock which has been the highest purpose of the land for over 100 years.[59]

The plan for the reserve is clear that it will be amidst an area where the predominant economic activity will remain the raising of cattle on homestead parcels along with adjacent rangeland leased from the federal government.[60] AP's vice president and chief external relations officer estimated that there is a half a million head of cattle in the seven county area where AP is based and seeks to be a good neighbor.[61] Bison under Montana law are classified as private livestock overseen by the Department of Livestock.[62] APF requested a modification of the terms of the grazing permits it had acquired to allow for year-round grazing and a change of use from cattle to bison grazing in Chouteau, Fergus, Petroleum, Phillips and Valley counties. The proposal included fortifying existing external boundary fences by replacing the second strand from the top with an electrified wire, converting to wildlife-friendly standards, and removing interior fences.[63] AP reduced the initial request in 2017 for grazing allotments on 290,000 to 63,000 acres (117,000 to 25,000 ha) of federal land in Phillips County only with 10 year leases.[64] While the decision only applies to the BLM land, the bison project area includes 5,830 acres (2,360 ha) of state land administered by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and 32,710 acres (13,240 ha) of AP deeded land.[65] In 2019, the Montana House of Representatives passed a resolution asking the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to deny the bison grazing proposal from the American Prairie.[66][67] The BLM issued a proposed decision approving various elements of the proposal in March 2022.[68] The BLM cited research that the bison grazing will increase plant and animal diversity, improve water quality, and overall habitat conditions.[69] The BLM made its official decision in July which was justified by an analysis that showed the plan wouldn’t have a significant environmental impact.[70] Montana Stockgrowers Association, Governor Greg Gianforte and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen filed appeals to the approval.[71] These federal grazing lands are intermixed with state trust lands which are managed by the BLM for the state.[72] A revised fencing regime was adopted to avoid state trust lands.[73] Bison are often the target of bills before the state legislature.[74] Other bills have sought to limit APF’s activities as a nonprofit organization that acquires property.[55]


The National Discovery Center in Lewistown is a gateway facility for visitors and Montana residents.[75][76] The center has interactive exhibits, a children’s learning zone, and a theater that presents films on topics such as wildlife, American history, and conservation.[77] The reserve is in a remote area with gateway towns providing lodging and dining options; Lewistown and Winifred are south and Malta is north of the reserve.[78]

The reserve is improving public access and enjoyment of this unique natural habitat.[39]: 122  Recreation opportunities including fishing, birding, hiking, paddling, and cycling.[79] Various camping options are available on the reserve.[80] The reserve has established nine-bunk huts and campgrounds including some less remote for RV access.[79] The reserve offers access points to state and federal public lands through its deeded lands, some of which were previously landlocked and unavailable.[81] These public lands were surrounded by private land so although technically owned by the public, they were unavailable for public use until the adjacent ranches were acquired for the reserve.[82] The public lands are subject to state and federal hunting and camping regulations for the respective governing agencies.[79]

Certain areas are open by permit for rifle and bow hunting of upland birds, migratory birds, deer, elk and antelope including on the Blue Ridge, White Rock and PN ranches.[83] They have more than 80,000 acres (32,000 ha) enrolled in Block Management Program managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.[24][84] Annual drawings are held for the opportunity to harvest bison.[85] The bison are not considered wildlife to be hunted but as livestock as they roam within the fenced 27,000 acres (11,000 ha) Sun Prairie unit.[86] APF uses the harvest as a bison management tool and to control the population size.[87]

The reserve hosts various Artist-in-residence programs. Artists are exposed to the cultural, ecological, and historic value of the site.[88]

In popular culture[edit]

Ken Burns's 2023 film "The American Buffalo” includes scenes shot on the reserve.[89]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jazynka, Kitson (May 29, 2019). "Creating a home on the prairie as it once was". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 8, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Restoring prairie and fighting wildfire with (drone launched) fire(balls)". Ecotone. Ecological Society of America. August 1, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  3. ^ Saboe, Beth (September 24, 2018). "The American Prairie Reserve Revisited". Distinctly Montana Magazine. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Wuerthner, George (September 3, 2020). "Bison ecology, ecological influence, behavior, and decline". The Wildlife News. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Samuels, David (March–April 2011). "Where the Buffalo Roam". Mother Jones. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Bullinger, Jake (February 21, 2020). "Montana's Grand Prairie Experiment". Bitterroot. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Berger, Joel; Beckmann, Jon (May 1, 2020). "America's Native Big Open Was Anything But Lonely Or Empty". Mountain Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Jazynka, Kitson (May 20, 2019). "Bison help prairie get back to nature". The Spokesman-Review. Washington Post. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  9. ^ Johns, Louise (June 4, 2021). "Bringing wild bison and an endangered ecosystem back". High Country News. Undark. Retrieved July 29, 2021.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Wilson, Matthew (September 20, 2013). "Conservation of America's prairie – and return of the bison". Financial Times. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  11. ^ Tutton, Mark (November 27, 2019). "How bison are bringing life back to the prairie". CNN. Retrieved February 26, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Regan, Shawn (March 25, 2019). "Is American Prairie Reserve Taking The West Back To The Future?". Mountain Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Scruggs, Gregory (July 18, 2019). "Home on the range? Private buyers restore U.S. grassland to cowboy consternation". Reuters. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Urbigkit, Cat (April 1, 2022). "BLM Okays Prairie Reserve Bison Grazing". Tri-State Livestock News. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  15. ^ Etherington, A.J. (April 25, 2018). "BLM District Manager Answers Questions on APR Request". The Glasgow Courier. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  16. ^ Swanson, Larry. "Montana: One State with Three Changing Regions". University of Montana. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  17. ^ a b c Lotus, Jean (January 31, 2020). "Montana ranchers, conservationists lock horns over free-ranging bison". UPI. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  18. ^ Martin, Glen (April 22, 2001). "Where the buffalo roam, again / Humans are disappearing from Great Plains as bison and other wildlife return". SFGATE. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  19. ^ Schwedelson, Paul (August 30, 2020). "As Montana farmers and ranchers age, young people face challenges entering the industry". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Hegyi, Nate (October 21, 2019). "The Next Yellowstone: How Big Money Is Building A New Kind Of National Park". KUNC. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Reclaiming Montana - Born to be wild". The Economist. March 17, 2012. Archived from the original on May 2, 2020.
  22. ^ a b c Hegyi, Nate (October 22, 2019). "The Next Yellowstone: Save The Cowboy, Stop The American Prairie Reserve". KUNC. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  23. ^ Hill, P. J.; Huffman, James; Yablonski, Brian (May 27, 2019). "Property rights should be for everyone — even APR". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Hegyi, Nate (October 23, 2019). "The Next Yellowstone: A Hunter's Paradise". KUNC. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  25. ^ Ecoregional Planning in the Northern Great Plains Steppe (PDF). Conservation Gateway (Report). The Nature Conservancy. February 4, 1999.
  26. ^ a b c d Andy Corbley (November 20, 2020). "With 14,000 Critical Acres Added to Montana Wildlife Reserve, It May Become the Largest in the Lower 48". Good News Network. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  27. ^ a b Huffman, James L. (2019). "American Prairie Reserve: Protecting Wildlife Habitat on a Grand Scale". Natural Resources Journal. 59: 35.
  28. ^ a b c Ness, Erik (November–December 2022). "A Wild Idea". Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  29. ^ "American Prairie expands habitat base in 2022". KECI NBC Montana. December 22, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  30. ^ French, Brett (September 30, 2021). "State will conduct analysis of American Prairie's requested grazing permit change to bison". Billings Gazette. Retrieved October 30, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  31. ^ "Assembling the Land". American Prairie. January 28, 2016. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  32. ^ "American Prairie Reserve purchases 800 acres along historic Cow Creek". The Billings Gazette. May 27, 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ "American Prairie expands habitat base in 2022". NBC Montana. December 22, 2022. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  34. ^ Austin, Damien (August 23, 2022). "American Prairie restores wildlife and creates access for the public". Daily Montanan (Press release). American Prairie. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  35. ^ Pierce, Ben (May 28, 2015). "American Prairie Reserve: Conservation project finding success, fueling controversy in northeast Montana". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  36. ^ Brown, Matthew (March 27, 2016). "Bison herd to be moved from Alberta to Montana as part of treaty agreement". CTVNews. Associated Press. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  37. ^ Proulx, Ben (February 2, 2012). "Elk Island bison head to Montana". Fort Saskatchewan Record. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  38. ^ "Home on the range: Bison make it to Montana reserve -- via Canada". U.S. News. March 11, 2012. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  39. ^ a b Bison Conservation and Management in Montana: Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDF) (Report). Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. December 2019.{{cite report}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  40. ^ French, Brett (July 1, 2021). "BLM gives initial OK to American Prairie's bison grazing permit". The Billings Gazette. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  41. ^ "Projects & Programs | Bison Reintroduction Timeline". American Prairie. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  42. ^ "Variance sets up 10-year truce in fight over Montana bison". Summit Daily. Associated Press. January 28, 2021. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  43. ^ Ehrlick, Darrell (January 28, 2021). "American Prairie Reserve resolves long-standing dispute". Daily Montanan. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  44. ^ a b c "American Prairie Reserve partners with Native Nations to further bison conservation". KULR-8 News. February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  45. ^ a b French, Brett (February 12, 2021). "American Prairie Reserve donates bison to South Dakota tribes". Billings Gazette. Retrieved November 6, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  46. ^ "Restoring America's Wild Prairie". Smithsonian's National Zoo. October 26, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  47. ^ Tegethoff, Eric (November 30, 2018). "Smithsonian to Help Research, Restore Iconic Montana Prairie". Public News Service. Retrieved July 31, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  48. ^ Rebh, Julie (November 1, 2022). "Discovering What Lies Below the Surface in the American Prairie". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  49. ^ Stabach, Jared (April 1, 2020). "Fantastic Beasts of the Great Plains". Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  50. ^ Kibblewhite, Courtney (September 25, 2013). "Market Your Cattle with American Prairie Reserve?". Northern AG Network. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  51. ^ "Sensitive Lands and Wildlife Habitat". Sustainable City Code. Archived from the original on June 14, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  52. ^ Teasdale, Aaron (August 28, 2019). "Building an American Serengeti in Montana". Sierra. Sierra Club. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  53. ^ McKean, Andrew (August 4, 2022). "Montana Is on the Brink of Destroying One of Its Most Successful Conservation Programs". Outdoor Life. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  54. ^ Brown, Matthew (August 22, 2012). "For Sale: A Way of Life". The Durango Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  55. ^ a b French, Brett (March 31, 2021). "Anti-American Prairie Reserve bill divides Republicans, landowners". The Billings Gazette. Retrieved May 29, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  56. ^ Adams, S.M.; Dood, A.R. (July 2011). "Perspectives and Initiative Pertaining to Bison within Montana by Nongovernmental Organizations". Background Information on Issues of Concern for Montana: Plains Bison Ecology, Management and Conservation (Report). Bozeman, Montana: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. p. 121. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  57. ^ Lutey, Tom (December 20, 2009). "Ranchers wary of group's effort to create wildlife reserve bigger than Yellowstone". Billings Gazette. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  58. ^ Hegyi, Nate (October 24, 2019). "The Next Yellowstone: The Bison Is A Symbol Of God". KUNC. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  59. ^ Mosley, Tonya; Kim, Cristina; McMahon, Serena (December 14, 2020). "Ranchers Push Back On American Prairie Reserve In Montana". Here & Now. WBUR. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  60. ^ Brown, Matthew (March 30, 2022). "US approves bison grazing on Montana prairie amid criticism". Yahoo News. Associated Press. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  61. ^ Catenacci, Thomas (July 28, 2022). "Billionaire-funded eco group quietly taking farmland out of production in rural America". Fox News. Retrieved July 29, 2022 – via Yahoo News.
  62. ^ Bailey, Jim (May 27, 2019). "Bison: Still Not Back From The Brink". Mountain Journal. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  63. ^ French, Brett (February 8, 2019). "BLM approves controversial bison grazing plan for American Prairie". Billings Gazette. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  64. ^ French, Brett (March 30, 2022). "BLM approves controversial bison grazing plan for American Prairie". Billings Gazette. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  65. ^ Miller, Anna (August 5, 2022). "American Prairie allowed to graze bison in MT". Western Livestock Journal. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  66. ^ Ragar, Shaylee (March 24, 2019). "Lawmakers Consider The Future Of Bison In Montana". Fairfield Sun Times. UM Legislative News Service • University of Montana School of Journalism. Retrieved July 12, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  67. ^ Drake, Phil (March 1, 2019). "House resolution critical of American Prairie Reserve". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  68. ^ Schwab, Andy (March 30, 2022). "BLM Bison Grazing Approved in Phillips County; Ag Groups Express Disappointment". Northern Ag Network. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  69. ^ Irving, Katherine (August 8, 2022). "A bigger home on the range for Montana bison". Science. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  70. ^ Ambarian, Jonathon (July 28, 2022). "BLM approves American Prairie bison grazing plan, but debate continues". KTVH. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  71. ^ "Montana ranchers, officials appeal bison grazing on US land". The Dakotan. Associated Press. August 29, 2022. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  72. ^ Ehrlick, Darrell (December 24, 2022). "Gianforte appeals BLM decision, continues to fight against American Prairie, bison". Daily Montanan. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  73. ^ Rath, Josh (December 27, 2022). "MT Gov Gianforte Appealing APR Bison Grazing Decision". KGVO. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  74. ^ French, Brett (January 27, 2021). "10-year truce declared in Phillips County bison brouhaha". The Billings Gazette. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  75. ^ Ehrlick, Darrell (November 7, 2022). "American Prairie establishes national discovery center in the heart of Lewistown, despite pushback". The Missoula Current. Daily Montanan. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  76. ^ Puckett, Karl (September 20, 2018). "Prairie Reserve plans multi-million discovery center in Lewistown". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved May 29, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  77. ^ "Round Up: Preserving the Prairie". Big Sky Journal. September 28, 2021. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  78. ^ Teasdale, Aaron (September 3, 2019). "You Can Visit America's Serengeti by Bike". Sierra. Sierra Club. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  79. ^ a b c Dettmer, Sarah (July 23, 2018). "Montana is more than mountains, prairie offers rugged adventure". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  80. ^ "American Prairie Reserve's popularity with campers grew in 2020". The Billings Gazette. March 6, 2021. Retrieved May 29, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  81. ^ "American Prairie announces acquisition of large ranch bordering Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge". KTVH. MTN News. December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 23, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  82. ^ Ehrlick, Darrell (February 2, 2022). "New American Prairie purchase will open up nearly 10,000 acres to the public". KTVQ. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  83. ^ French, Brett (December 22, 2021). "American Prairie buys Musselshell ranch that BLM had eyed". Billings Gazette. Archived from the original on December 20, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  84. ^ French, Brett (July 17, 2020). "American Prairie Reserve expands land open to hunters". The Billings Gazette. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  85. ^ "22 tags offered to hunt American Prairie Reserve bison". The Billings Gazette. June 2, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  86. ^ French, Brett (January 30, 2021). "Montana Bison Harvest Challenges Wounded Marine Veteran". Flathead Beacon. The Billings Gazette. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  87. ^ "American Prairie Reserve offering 20 bison harvest opportunities". ABC FOX Montana. May 25, 2021. Retrieved May 26, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  88. ^ Walsh, Cory (December 18, 2022). "Montana artist residency program adds new sites like American Prairie". The Missoulian. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  89. ^ Mabie, Nora (January 18, 2023). "New Ken Burns film on buffalo includes Indigenous voices from Montana". Missoulian. Retrieved February 9, 2023.

External links[edit]