Who Are We?
We are not just a single entity, we are a community. People coming together to fight the American Prairie Reserve to save our land for current and future generations. We are not only the generations of farms, ranches, business owners, and families that homesteaded in this area, but everyone that calls central Montana home. This grassroots movement has grown because it doesn’t just threaten the cowboy, it affects the country as a whole. APR not only threatens production agriculture, they threaten the American way of life.
Who is APR?
American Prairie Reserve’s goal is to create the largest nature reserve of grasslands in the United States by buying up all the land across North Central Montana. What is a nature reserve? A nature reserve is a plot of land that is not managed by humans. To someone with no background in agriculture, their mission might look like a cool idea. In short, they would create an environment for bison, elk, antelope, bears, wolves, and many other animals stating this was the scene of Montana in the 1800s. They currently own 104,578 acres and manage 315,047 acres of public lands. Currently home to less than 1,000 head of bison, with their target to be 3.5 million acres with up to 10,000 head of free-roaming bison. They’ve also stated how they will exponentially increase the wildlife populations on their reserve, which is outside private property owners’ jurisdiction.
So what’s the problem? The entire West is being threatened.
Each western state has different non-governmental organization threatening their state and livelihood, with the same common goal. Their goal is to patch-work the entire north-west, from the grasslands in Nebraska to the grasslands in Canada. That means pushing the families and communities that live in the north-west out, and ultimately forcing relocation of the population to start all over. APR is buying any land with BLM, State, and Federal lands tied to it, and sometimes using unethical methods of deception. By buying up this land, they are affecting the remaining farms and ranches. For every acre taken out of agriculture production, it reduces the taxable revenue income for the state of Montana by $30. Just imagine what it would do to the economic sustainability of the state by removing 3.5 million acres out of the revenue system. APR is proposing to take BLM lands back to a primitive time, by tearing out fences and water systems that were constructed to benefit the livestock and wildlife ecosystem. By removing decades of land improving techniques, their goal is to allow bison to roam freely with minimal restrictions to neighboring lands causing destruction of crops, over-grazing of the grasslands, and the risk of transferring diseases such as brucellosis. All this being done while insisting they are “good neighbors”, does it really sound like they are good neighbors to anyone?
We are Farmers and Ranchers
We have created generations of farming and ranching operations. Many of our great-grandparents homesteaded in this area. We are among the greatest caretakers of the land, allowing wildlife, livestock, and humanity to all co-exist. Managing the lands is a part of our stewardship that we pass on to our future generations.