Plan Your Trip to Montana’s American Prairie Reserve This Year
There was a time not long ago when nothing could rival the untamed and breathtaking wildness of Montana’s legendary Northern Great Plains.
People lived lives inextricable from and fundamental to the ecology of the region, following and harvesting herds of bison, setting fires to attract wildlife and rejuvenate the grasslands, and cultivating and distributing native vegetation. Later, landscape artists and explorers documented innumerable herds of bison and pronghorn that roamed the area, as well as grizzly bears, wolves, elk, beaver, sage grouse, ferruginous hawks, prairie dogs, vast flocks of migratory songbirds, and many other iconic wildlife. That biodiversity and abundance was killed off throughout the course of the nineteenth century, and while much of the shortgrass prairie habitat remains relatively intact and unplowed, most of the prairie’s iconic wildlife have been extirpated or remain only in nominal abundance. Today, temperate grasslands– like those in Montana– are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, but American Prairie represents an unprecedented opportunity to restore and conserve a vast expanse of the prairie ecosystem.
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