Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

The American Prairie Reserve! (Post #1)

Marty’s photos of the day #3715: Last night, my wife Deb, our dog Nellie, and I returned from six fabulous days in the American Prairie Reserve. Few people know about this wonderful, remote Montana treasure—and admittedly I’m quite tempted to stay quiet about it. Located along the Missouri River, in north-central Montana, it is one of just four intact prairie ecosystems in the world. The APR’s goal of creating the largest nature reserve in the contiguous United States has made the project controversial. Basically they are attempting to stitch together three million acres of existing, fragmented public lands by purchasing private lands from willing sellers. Additionally, they have retired 63,777 acres of cattle grazing leases and returned 900 bison to their rightful prairie home.

Naturally, the usual suspects (which include selfish ranchers and anti-environment Republicans) oppose the APR. Because why would such people ever support anything so beneficial to animals, ecosystems, and future generations? For the next few weeks I will be sharing photos, stories, and commentary from our adventure. But first, here are some of the many signs that lined the roads in and out of the American Prairie Reserve.

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