An Entreprenurial Approach
President’s Message from Sean Gerrity
In March, I spoke at Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West about American Prairie Reserve’s entrepreneurial approach to large-scale conservation. It was gratifying to see so many people, including young students, eager to discover how we are achieving conservation success through private contributions. The ensuing discussion focused on how the Reserve’s sure and steady growth is a powerful example of how a mission driven, non-governmental effort can result in one of the most ambitious conservation projects ever undertaken in American history.
Not Just Acres – Reserve Staff Grows
We’re excited to welcome two new staff members to our Reserve team, James Barnett (Reserve Supervisor) and Lars Anderson (Reserve Assistant). Both James and Lars will live full-time on the Reserve and greatly increase our capacity for restoration, bison and public access projects. We are also happy to bring two new families to the local area.
Your Gift – Doubled!
Thanks in part to a generous $50,000 matching grant from The John and Kelly Hartman Foundation, year-end fundraising in 2012 was a record-setting success. The Hartman Foundation has been a supporter since 2005, helping us expand our outreach to Montanans and annual donors of all levels. Your generous gifts over the holidays helped us not only meet, but exceed, the Foundation’s match, which doubled or even tripled the impact of $1–$1,000 gifts. Thank you to everyone who helped us achieve this ambitious goal!
Kids & Nature – By The Numbers
76 – Percent of youth ages 6-12 that participate in outdoor recreation to “be with family and friends.”
44 – Percent of campers that cite their father as the person that introduced them to camping.
8 – Age at which children can identify 25% more Pokémon video game characters than wildlife species.
6 – Hours spent a day in front of an electronic screen by an average American child.
1 – Ranking of “teenager” in a list of words least associated with “camping.”
Like a Needle in a Haystack
This spring, APR staff members and biologist Kyran Kunkel set out to expand our bison tracking efforts with an additional GPS collar. With more than 14,000 acres to roam, the Reserve’s bison population moves widely across the land. GPS collars are one way that we track these movements, and the information helps us make management decisions, like needed fence improvements.
A Gift That Doesn’t Need Wrapping
Last Christmas, Idaho residents Tom and Janet Rahl were inspired by National Geographic’s American Serengeti to make an unexpected gift to their kids and grandkids – a $1,000 donation to help build American Prairie Reserve.
A Moment in Time
The harsh winter of 2011 was catastrophic to pronghorn in the Reserve region. The Montana Game & Fish Department estimates that populations suffered up to 70 percent losses. Last month, Reserve Foreman Dennis Lingohr was surprised and encouraged by an increase in sightings of this uniquely North American mammal. As Dennis tells it, “I jumped out of my 4-wheeled office and snapped these images. You just never know what might greet you on the prairie.”
Interview: Why Are Some Species Rare In Nature?
In our last newsletter, we shared a new book from World Wildlife Fund Lead Scientist Eric Dinerstein, The Kingdom of Rarities. Eric, who also serves on APR’s National Council, has traveled the world to learn about and conserve rare species, including animals that call the prairie home. In this interview, APR President Sean Gerrity asks Eric why some species are naturally, or become, rare and how your efforts to build American Prairie Reserve can help. Read the full interview.
Are Invasive Plants Hurting The Prairie? Your Questions Answered
Q: We see invasive species like Kudzu or the Emerald Ash Borer in southern and midwest areas; are there species that are hurting the prairie? – from Sarah on Facebook
“A Must See in 2013″ – What We’re Reading
The Missouri River Breaks region has been named a Top Destination for 2013 by National Geographic Traveler. A related article, now online, appeared in the Jan. 2013 issue of the magazine and includes the APR bison herd as one of region’s attractions. The Montana Quarterly also celebrated the Northern Plains in a photo essay written by Scott McMillion with stunning photographs by Montana’s Tony Bynum. Both articles will feed your adventurous spirit and inspire you to plan a 2013 trip to the Reserve area, even if it’s only as an armchair traveler.