American Prairie Reserve is in the business of landscape scale conservation, but one of our goals is to ensure that the land remains productive in ways that clearly contribute measurable and sustainable benefits to the local economy. Since 2002, we have added $34.3 million to the region, including land purchases, Reserve management, employee wages, taxes and fees, and visitation.
In 2015, American Prairie Reserve directly contributed a total of $3.14 million to the economy of the project area, which includes Phillips, Valley, Fergus, and Blaine counties.
Reserve Expenses & Tourism Support Local Businesses
As the Reserve grows, we will continue to hire contractors to provide fencing, construction, and repair services. We make concerted efforts to hire and make purchases locally, which resulted in $916,553 of local spending in 2014. In addition to tourism spending by visitors to American Prairie Reserve, the Reserve itself has also spent $450,878 in support of local motels, restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations since 2002, including $76,964 in 2015.
Land Purchases Feed into the Economy
In many cases when we buy a ranch to grow the Reserve, the family and the funds they receive stay in the community and continue to provide economic value to the area. In 2014, American Prairie Reserve paid $1.6 million toward land purchases that stayed in the project area. We have paid a total of $26.6 million to families that have stayed in the area since 2002.
Tax and Fee Payments Strengthen Montana
Since 2012, we've paid $400,949 in taxes and fees. In 2015 specifically, the Reserve spent $75,675 in property taxes, lodging taxes, and livestock and grazing fees. American Prairie Reserve is now the 16th largest taxpayer in Phillips County.
Being a Good Neighbor & Employer in Local Communities
Wages paid to local staff total $1.9 million since 2001. Last year, we employed 7 full-time, year-round staff as well as 20 part-time and seasonal employees that lived and worked on the Reserve. Staff members that live on the Reserve also donate their time to many community projects and help identify local efforts that need support. From the local hospital to fire departments, the Reserve contributed $17,000 to local fundraisers in 2015.
LOOKING AHEAD: We will continue to grow this upward trend of economic contributions, and you can help by stopping for gas, food, lodging, and supplies in the communities surrounding the Reserve. Join us in making the case for conservation by increasing the economic impact of American Prairie Reserve.