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APR’s plan to “rewild” all of Montana’s ranches

By Protect the Harvest


American Prairie Reserve Threatens Ranching in The West

Seeks To Create Largest Natural Reserve in United States

The American Prairie Reserve began in 2001 as the Prairie Foundation, created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a “land trust partner.” The goal of American Prairie Reserve is:
• To put together the United States’ largest natural reserve in north-central Montana
• Recreate what famous explorers Lewis and Clark might have seen in 1805
• The primary focus of the reserve is free-roaming, naturally regulated wildlife
• The total targeted area is 3.5 million acres, which is larger than the entirety of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and includes the already preserved lands of the million-acre Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and the 375,000-acre Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

Numerous Ranches Must Be Obtained for APR to Fulfill Their Vision

The remainder of the lands APR needs to complete their vision is made up of privately-owned ranches interspersed among millions of acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered lands. The key to amassing the desired total land is for APR to purchase the ranches and therefore obtain the BLM grazing rights attached to those properties. Read more about the practice of ranching on federally administered land here.

Impact to BLM Land

The problems with APR’s plans are with the bison themselves, as well as the way APR wants to manage them. It is important to note that no one is protesting what APR will do with their privately-owned land; the issues are what they want to do on BLM land, and the effects it would have on the environment, ranch families, and local economies.

East Coast Biologist & Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Join Forces

The reserve was the brainchild of Massachusetts resident and former WWF biologist, Curt Freese, who is listed as a founding executive director of APR. Freese recruited Silicon Valley consultant, Sean Gerrity, who became another founder of APR. Gerrity came up with the plan to buy any ranches near APR that were put on the market. In order to do this, they created a non-profit organization and started collecting donations. In 2004, they began acquiring land. Since that time, APR has made 29 land purchases and amassed over 400,000 acres of land, which includes the grazing rights on BLM parcels attached to privately owned lands.

This is not the first time something like this has been proposed. In the 1980s, a pair of East Coast professors, Frank and Deborah Popper, envisioned creating the “Buffalo Commons.” The Poppers infamously sought to rewild the majority of the Great Plains, with de-privatizing and depopulating the region as key components. They stated that their wish was to return the area to its “original pre-white state.”

APR’s Vision of Rewilding

Over two centuries after Lewis and Clark passed through the region, APR’s vision is creating great turmoil in the rural ranching communities of north-central Montana because of what they aim to do. APR’s central goal, and reason for grabbing up every bit of land they can, is to “re-wild” the area, which was identified by The Nature Conservancy as the “Northern Great Plains Steppe ecoregion” in 1999. The area is already home to a great many species of wildlife, including elk, big horn sheep, antelope, deer, coyotes, mountain lions, prairie dogs, and numerous species of birds.

Nevertheless, APR is importing “genetically pure” bison (or buffalo) in an attempt to mimic the great plains of yesteryear. The reserve is already home to about 900 of them, which are considered pure by APR since there are no domestic cattle in their lineage. The long-term goal is to build a herd of 10,000 such bison.

APR Uses Unethical Tactics

APR emphasizes that they only buy land from “willing sellers,” but finding those has sometimes proven to be a challenge. In many cases, APR has resorted to less-than ethical methods of obtaining land. In one case, a landowner decided to sell property, but not to APR. Then, upon selling the property to a third-party LLC, the seller found out that the LLC was a front for APR after all.

See the full report by Protect the Harvest here

14 thoughts on “APR’s plan to “rewild” all of Montana’s ranches

  1. APR’s work is inspiring and the way forward for this planet, if we want to continue sharing this planet with other animals.

    Humans have to accept some change to survive. Soon we will have meat grown in labs and that will be affordable and without the cruelty. Farmers should be compensated for loss of earnings and paid instead to re-wild their lands, via an environmental levy tax. Governments around the world need to act today and if not today then tomorrow. Otherwise, humans will have to live in giant eco pods, to avoid pollution and survival.

  2. Yep — it’s UN Agenda 21 at play here! Isn’t it time for those supporting America’s leftest agenda to start looking at the reality of destroying America’s ranchers and farmers and our food supply?

  3. First off its the bloomberg family of new york….your new presidential democrat contender.
    Thats the money guy… he is after the oil..gas..water rights of the missouri river. ..
    These buffalo are just a front to lock up all those natural resources for his family…
    If elected he will have the power to change any rules the dnrc have in place…
    In his family interest… basicly MORE CORRUPTION IN OUR GOVERMENT.

  4. All ranches around the Charlie Russell Game Range comply with the BLM rules. These new people do not want to comply.. They want no fences to make sure the range is grazed equally, no small dams kept up for good drinking water. No roads but trails that they can bring people out to see the buffalo and yurts to camp in. No vaccinations to make sure the buffalo etc are disease free.. It is suppose to be a non profit organization and you can give it money tax free. There are several states that have buffalo preserves with all the rest of the wild animals. The latest I have heard on that is they are afraid these smaller herds will die out without having new blood. All they have to do is have a bull exchange every once in awhile.

    1. Please explain what you mean by this statement? Have you ever been to Montana. Where have you got your base information from?

  5. Absolutely appalling, it amounts to a land grab, and yes I too see agenda 21 type antics happening here, herd all the people into certain areas, that dictate that they must conform with the majority, This will be a disaster, Montana, band together and fight this, look at the center of Idaho ” Frank Church Wilderness area, no motor vehicle ya can’t get from A to B without accessive travel

  6. Really sad what this country has become ,absolutely no common sense! Why the judges support these people because they think just like the ones that are ruining this country! Please remove the most important thing in life is eating and keeping warm! Some of you will have a problem with this!

  7. “The focus of the reserve is free-roaming, naturally regulated wildlife”. ~ What does that mean? The article also says, “their wish was to return the area to its original pre-white state”.
    1. It doesn’t matter if it’s 3.5 million acres or the entire state, there must be a management system. Presently, such Disneyesque failures may be observed around Yellowstone and throughout the Rocky Mountains where the grizzly and wolf debacle have become a bad joke on the local residents. Liberals refuse to accept the North American Model of Conservation that has saved many species and brought others back from the brink of extinction. They would rather play God and fail, to the detriment of everyone, than to implement proven practice.
    2. “Return the landscape to before pre-whites”: It’s ridiculous to believe anyone is going to convince the Sioux, Crow, Blackfeet, Southern Cheyenne, Shoshone, Arapaho, Nez Perce, or any of the other tribes to return to their teepees. But – if they some of them do decide to return to the ways of their primitive heritage – is it okay to show them where the buffalo jumps are located?

  8. Fits perfectly with agenda 21. Soon we will be told where to live and what type of employment we can have, what we can eat and who to pray to.

  9. Why does a non profit like APR now have / control the Charles M Russell NATIONAL Wildlife Refuge ( 1,000,000 acres ), And the Upper Missouri Breaks NATIONAL MONUMENT ( 375,000 acres )??

    Whole Deal seems highly unusual.

    Heck the USA might as well give APR say Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Tetons National Parks also. LoL.

    Just follow the money… this is the way the USA works now.

  10. So, the APR wants all Americans to be forced to buy foreign products by putting our farmers out of business. I feel that as a nation, we must take care of our citizens first and foremost and keep Socialism out of our Country.

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