The Big Picture

We Believe in Making a Positive Local Impact
At American Prairie Reserve (APR), we believe in making a positive impact on local communities in the six-county region surrounding the Reserve.  As a neighbor in the region, we hope to encourage mutual economic strength and build strong community relationships. We also believe that community involvement is a process of engaging in ongoing dialogue and collaboration with local residents. We seek to assist in this process through partnerships and support of volunteer resources designed to connect our neighbors with the project in meaningful ways. It is our goal to be a valuable long-term community partner and a good neighbor.

Dave M. Shumway

Positive Economic Opportunities
We also believe that a prairie reserve devoted to wildlife will promote positive economic opportunities throughout the six-county region and will encourage regional collaboration. We recognize that agriculture will remain the dominant industry in the region, but trust that visitors to American Prairie Reserve will stimulate local economic activity when they contract local guides and patronize local establishments. Additional and significant economic opportunities are born through various Reserve expenditures, such as vehicle and facility maintenance, and Reserve operations like fence-building, monitoring wildlife  and paying taxes.

Progress to Date

Over $19.39 Million in Local Expenditures to Date
We track the economic impact of Reserve-related activities. Since our inception in 2001, APR’s expenditures in the region have totaled over $19.39 million, including land purchases, wages paid to local staff, tourism activities, equipment and supply purchases, payments to local contractors and real estate taxes. APR is committed to supporting and taking part in discussions about how resources associated with the Reserve can infuse and sustain the local economy.  For more information, please see our Economic Impact Brochure.

Additionally, APR studies the relative success of wildlife reserves around the world and gathers best practices applicable to our project that can help us to make a positive contribution to surrounding communities.  We have found that similar projects have had an overwhelmingly positive impact on their communities, serving to stimulate and diversify the local economy.

Community Involvement Fund grants can be used for educational activities related to conservation. (Photo: Shaun Radley)

Community Involvement Program

We have also established the APR Community Involvement Fund, which supports local communities through financial assistance to area non-profits, private foundations, and for-profit businesses. Projects should relate to American Prairie Reserve’s mission and to the locals in the project area. The two categories for grants are:

1) conservation education
2) historical and cultural preservation.

A local committee at APR awards a total of $4,000 in grants each year to organizations meeting these criteria, with no more than $1,000 awarded to a single group in a calendar year.

Examples of previous grants awarded include: Malta High School for a weather station and the Judith River Foundation for the Dinosaur Museum. In 2012, the Community Involvement Fund awarded a $1,000 grant to Friends of Malta Opportunities, Inc. for conservation education.


For more information or to receive an application, please contact our Bozeman office at (406) 585-4600 or

Next Steps

APR will continue to be actively involved in the local community with the goal of contributing to a strong, viable and sustainable quality of life for all residents. We believe it is important to practice good citizenship, and we are dedicated to furthering our outreach efforts through varied and diverse projects tailored to meet the needs of our neighbors. Through our long-term regional initiatives and the Community Involvement Program, we will continue our longstanding commitment to make a positive impact on the communities we touch.