A Message from the President
This March, we celebrate the homecoming of 71 bison from Canada’s Elk Island National Park. At the March 8th bison release, I had the honor of meeting Marcia Pablo and her grandchildren, who are the seventh generation from turn-of-the-century bison conservationist Michel Pablo. Their presence vividly illustrates the Native American tradition of considering the impact of major decisions on the next seven generations, a concept demonstrated in the work of pioneering conservationists like Pablo whose work directly contributed to this month’s bison release. Your gifts to American Prairie Reserve are helping carry this legacy forward by assembling habitat not only for bison, but many other prairie species. Thank you for being a part of this historic effort.
Your Donations at Work: March 8th Bison Release
American Prairie Reserve staff, National Council members and partners joined journalists and tribal guests on the Reserve March 8th to watch as the corral gates were opened and 71 new bison calves took their first steps into the APR herd. The new calves, imported from Canada’s Elk Island National Park, are descendants of Montana’s Pablo-Allard herd, which was sold to the Canadian government at the turn of the 20th century. Now, exactly 100 years after their ancestors were loaded onto rail cars bound for Alberta, we celebrate the historic homecoming of these bison to their native habitat.
Sights to See: Historic Zortman
Nestled in the scenic Little Rockies, the historic gold mining town of Zortman was established in 1890 and named for prospector Oliver “Pete” Zortman. By the late 19th century, more than 2,000 miners were active in the area and the town’s colorful history has included not only rugged prospectors in search of fortune, but also loggers, ranchers and outlaws.
Outfitters Offer Guided Tours of the Reserve
This year, American Prairie Reserve is offering several outfitted trips and volunteer opportunities as new ways to explore the Reserve. In June, bird expert Peg Abbott will guide two outings on the Reserve. June 3-10, visitors can join Peg for a Naturalist Journeys tour of the Reserve and surrounding areas focused on birds and wildflowers. A second trip, hosted by World Wildlife Fund, will be offered June 16-24, led by Peg and WWF field staff. Rounding out our offerings, Yellowstone Safari Company, known for outfitted trips to Yellowstone and other sought-after destinations, will host a safari on the Reserve Sept. 24-28 that will combine regional history, wildlife and outdoor activities. Read more about trip itineraries here.
High school students will again have the opportunity to go “on assignment” with National Geographic Student Expeditions this July to study photography and conservation. The program, which is being offered again in response to positive feedback from last year’s trip, will take students to both Yellowstone and the Reserve, where they will discover what it takes to conserve a landscape as vast as American Prairie Reserve.
Families interested in getting involved with the project are encouraged to join our APR River Float & Family Work Safari July 19-24. Participants will enjoy a float trip down the Missouri River and field days on the Reserve working alongside APR staff to improve wildlife habitat. A Fall Work Safari will be held Oct. 4-8, taking volunteers onto the Reserve to view the annual elk rut and work on volunteer projects like fence removal and habitat restoration. Space is limited; if you are interested in participating in a trip or would like to learn more, please contact us at email@example.com or (406) 922-0793.
Wildlife Species: Snowy Owl
With its distinctive white feathers and dark brown spotting, the snowy owl is well suited to the winter landscape. Young snowy owls often show heavy dark stripes, which recede as the owl matures.
What We’re Reading Now: A Buffalo in the House
In this entertaining read, R. D. Rosen tells the compelling story of the relationship that grows between a couple and their adopted baby bison and offers insights into the history of bison conservation in the American West.
Prairie Legacy Society: What will your legacy be?
Prairie Legacy Society members help ensure that the wildlife reserve we’re building today will be cared for long into the future by including American Prairie Reserve in their estate plans. You can make a significant impact for future generations who will enjoy the prairie landscape and wildlife without affecting your current lifestyle by making APR a beneficiary of your estate. To learn more, call 406-922-0793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By The Numbers: The Story of the Pablo-Allard Herd
1884 Michel Pablo and Charles Allard purchase first 13 bison.
1907 Pablo-Allard herd purchased by the Canadian government.
1913 Elk Island National Park founded.
2010 First bison descended from the Pablo-Allard herd returned to APR.
2012 71 new calves from Elk Island released into the APR herd.