Located in the Northern Great Plains, the landscape of American Prairie Reserve is far from flat and monotonous. As visitors drive through the region, they notice gentle rolling hills, the high cliffs of the Missouri River, sloughs, seasonal streams and the occasional pond. Moving into the prairie pothole region of North America, it becomes increasingly apparent that water is a driving factor in much of the area’s history, habitat and topography.
From the Ice Age, Lewis and Clark and homesteading to grassland birds and salamanders, the Reserve is a living, breathing example of a quintessential American landscape – and water, whether in abundance or when scarce, has shaped the way living creatures interact with the plains. In celebration World Water Day today, we reflect on the role of this valuable resource and recognize that its conservation and protection from pollution is vitally important, not only to North American grasslands but also to people, ecosystems, wildlife, plants and the enjoyment of open spaces around the planet.