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The American Prairie Reserve could be economic game-changer for rural Montana

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May 30, 2018View for printing

There is a familiar story I've seen play out time and time again for many small communities in sparsely populated, agricultural areas of the larger Great Plains region -- struggling economies, declining populations, loss of businesses, jobs and young people, and aging populations.

I have done professional work in community economic development for over 40 years, working in regions from Nebraska to Montana, and I have spent a lot of time witnessing and thinking about this problem, agonizingly so. Fortunately, in the '90s I and other economists began to see new trends emerge where some rural areas of the West were escaping this spiral of decline.

There is cause for hope that northeast and central Montana is one such "big space" where we could see this beneficial trend play out in coming years. And the biggest cause for optimism is the ongoing conservation efforts of the American Prairie Reserve https://www.americanprairie.org/ (APR).

Dr. Larry Swanson - director and Scott Family Senior Fellow in Regional Economy at the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West, University of Montana http://www.umt.edu/crmw/ .

http://missoulian.com/opinion/column ... eb5b3c.html

More about the APR: http://www.matr.net/news.phtml?showa ... e&cat_id=48

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Interesting Facts from the American Prairie Reserve in Montana.

Since 2013, we have invested $25M+ in Montana's economy.

More: http://www.matr.net/article-83267.html

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Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan warn: Beautiful, unspoiled landscapes are disappearing http://www.matr.net/article-83256.html

Reader Comments:




Outstanding example of how the very best of Montana can be realized by the vision of an innovative group of individuals both inside and out of the state.

Congratulations and carry on.
--Russ




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