American Prairie is proud to announce the purchase of the historic PN Ranch, a nearly 50,000-acre expanse of crucial wildlife habitat north of Winifred, Montana. The organization’s 25th land deal brings the total number of deeded and leased acres stewarded by the private nonprofit to more than 353,000.
American Prairie is working to knit together an existing 3 million acres of public land by purchasing around 500,000 private acres around and within the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in northeastern Montana. Once complete, American Prairie will be the largest park in the continental United States and home to all the wildlife that once lived on the Great Plains. For the past ten years, visitors to American Prairie have enjoyed hunting, camping, fishing, hiking, biking, birding, wildlife viewing and more.
Home to elk and bighorn sheep, the PN is located almost entirely within the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument at the confluence of the Judith and the Missouri Rivers, including more than 20 miles of riverfront.
“The PN represents an incredible chance to permanently conserve key habitat in the region’s wildlife corridors and improve public access to more than 20,000 acres of private lands,” says Sean Gerrity, president, American Prairie. “This area was the setting for hundreds of years of Native American rendezvous as well as the location of Montana’s first military outpost and one of the campsites of Lewis & Clark, so visitors to this special place will have a chance to connect with the land that helped form the spirit of this nation. We look forward to evaluating the recreation, restoration and historic preservation opportunities of this new area and sharing more about our plans in the near future.”
The American Prairie PN Property has been evacuated and is closed to visitors due to an active wildfire to the south of the property. Campfires are currently prohibited on American Prairie deeded land due to extreme wildland fire danger.